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Fraternal Beneficiary Societies 








Copyright 1914 by M. W. Sackett 


AUG •S 1914 



For a number of years past I have been urged by 
many of my friends, who are engaged in the Fraternal 
Co-operative Protection field of effort, to put into printed 
form, details of the inception, organization and develop- 
ment of the societies in this country, of this distinctive 
character, during the first few years of their history. I 
have hesitated in complying with this request, feeling a 
disinclination to appear in the role of an author of a liter- 
ary production. Being, however, convinced that a correct 
and permanent record of the inception and early history 
of this great movement should be put in a tangible form, 
and being the only one left who had personal official con- 
nection therewith during these early years, I have done 
my best in setting forth the facts as contained in the 
following pages. 

As the Ancient Order of United Workmen was the 
first to be organized and occupied the field for nearly five 
years before any other society of like character was 
formed, this history, in its limited review, must neces- 
sarily be largely restricted to that society. 

It is the hope of the author, imperfect as this presen- 
tation may be, that from it some word of encouragement 
and inspiration may be gathered that will induce a greater 
loyalty to those higher ideals of unselfish service and 
practical philanthropy so characteristic of the early 

M. W. Sackett. 

Meadville, Pa., August i, 1914. 




In the Keystone Workman, A. O. U. W., of June, 
1 89 1, of which the author of this history was editor, 
appeared the following description with cuts showing the 
building and lodge room where the Ancient Order of 
United Workmen was born. It is here reproduced as an 
appropriate introduction to this book. 


Knowing the interest which centers around men and things 
that in any way contributed to the inception or partook of the 
surroundings incident to the organization of the Ancient Order 
of United Workmen, we present to our readers this month 
tnree electrotype cuts of the building and lodge room In 
which the Order was first brought into existence. 

The first gives a view of the outside of the building, which 
is a three-story brick structure, built about the year 1850. 
It was at that time the most imposing business block in the 
town of Meadville. 

The second cut gives a view of the front part of the lodge 
room, and the third gives a view from the back part of the 
lodge room. 

The main lodge room is 58 feet long and 20 feet wide, 
with ceiling 9y 2 feet high. There are two ante-rooms, one 
12x14, the other 6x12. The interiors of the lodge and ante- 
rooms remain the same today as they were in 1868, no change 
or alteration having been made since that date. The walls 
and ceiling, originally covered with whitewash, have become 
dingy with time, and the antiquated ~tove, whose warmth 

added comfort and cheerfulness to those present on that 
eventful evening of October 27th, 1868, still occupies its origi- 
nal place, covered with accumulated rust of nearly twenty- 
three years. Board partitions separate the lodge room from 
the ante-rooms. The wicket in the door that enters from the 
inner ante-room to the lodge room at once attracts the atten- 
tion of the visitor. It is made of two pieces of sheet iron, 
with ends turned over and bolt inserted to make a hinge. No 
doubt this piece of mechanism was the product of the skill of 
Father Upchurch or some of his associates. In the views given 
only a part of the furniture seen is that which originally be- 
longed to the lodge room. The arrangement, of course, is the 
work of the artist. 

It is difficult for any one who has any just appreciation of 
the magnitude and scope of the results that have been devel- 
oped from this first cause, to enter this historic place and not 
be deeply impressed. From out the accumulated dust and de- 
cay arises a vision of beautiful temples erected all over the 
land, whose protecting shelter extends over millions of our fel- 
low men, as a result of that inspiration first manifested with- 
in this humble sanctuary. 

Here, on the evening of October 27, 1868, Father Upchurch 
and thirteen of his associates erected an altar and consecrated 
it to the more perfect exemplification of good and helpful- 
ness to mankind. It was rough, unpolished and crude in de- 
sign, even as the interior of the place of its birth, and today 
would present no alluring demand upon the attention of man- 
kind. It was not to be judged, however, by its exterior, for 
within was contained the germ that was to open into life 
and power, bearing in time a full fruition of unmeasured 

Amid such surroundings the mind cannot dwell upon de- 
tails, but with rapid glance looks back and contemplates the 
general good accomplished, and from that into the future, 
and gathers fresh inspiration for more zealous effort and 
greater achievements. Like all great undertakings, opposl- 


tion and discouragements were to be met and overcome on all 
sides. The battle of internal dissension, as well as outside 
indifference, had to be met and overcome. Through the 
crucible of trial was the pure gold to be extracted and the 
dross eliminated. How well this has been done the one- 
quarter of million of members of the A. 0. U. W. today bears 
testimony. That Father Upchurch here planted a seed, the 
possibilities of which he had no adequate idea, is no doubt 
true. Still, like all heaven-born inspirations, some vision of 
the good to be attained must have been apparent to him, and 
we all rejoice that ere he was called to pass beyond the vale 
this seed had grown, ripened and multiplied, until the whole 
land rejoiced in its helpfulness to humanity. 


On April 30, 1868, there was organized in the city 
of Meadville, Penna., a subordinate League known as 
the "League of Friendship of the Mechanical Order of 
the Sun." ■ 

But little information is attainable from the min- 
utes of the League in Meadville as to the objects, laws 
or regulations of the Society. There was in existence 
a Grand Council under whose direction the League in 
Meadville was organized, as evidenced by the fact that 
Grand Councilman Holstead is noted as being present 
and officiating. It is apparent also from the Minutes 
that membership in the League was restricted to the 
various kinds of mechanical and day laborers. The 
membership in the Meadville League was almost entire- 
ly composed of mechanics, engineers, firemen and day 
laborers employed in the shops and on the Atlantic and 
Great Western Railroad, now known as the Erie R. R. 

It is apparent that the object of the League was to 
advance and foster the interests of its members by co- 
operating in effort and financial assistance whenever 
called upon to serve a worthy and approved cause. To 
this pledge each member was bound by solemn oath to 
be obedient and faithful. It was an incipient effort 
striving in the direction of that which at the present 

day is represented in the labor unions of this country. 

John Jordan Upchurch, familiarly known as "Father 
Upchurch," was not a charter member of the League 
but was admitted to membership therein at its eighth 
meeting June 16, 1868. He was soon after elected as 
its presiding officer. 

William W. Walker, who was afterward closely iden- 
tified with the early history of the Ancient Order of 
United Workmen, was a charter member of the League 
and active in its promotion. 

The League at Meadville seems to have been very 
prosperous for a time, its membership numbering over 
one hundred members, as I have been informed by one 
who was affiliated with it. 

The League, however, was destined to be short lived. 
Soon, it appears, suspicion was aroused as to the integrity 
of the governing body and especially of the officers that 
were conducting the affairs of the Grand Council, as 
it was called. This dissatisfaction culminated when the 
Meadville League was called upon to pay a tax to the 
Grand Council which they apparently considered an un- 
warranted demand. The dissatisfaction finally went to 
the length of causing many members to drop out and 
on the evening of October 27, 1868, it was determined 
to disband the League. 

The foregoing short sketch of the Meadville League 
of Friendship has been given for the reason that out 
of it grew the inception and organization of Jefferson 
Lodge No. 1, Ancient Order of United Workmen — the 
first lodge of that Order and the first Fraternal Bene- 
fit Society in this country. 


Founder of the A O.U. W. 


Before entering into details as to the organization 
of Jefferson Lodge No. i, A. O. U. W., it will be of 
interest to enter as fully as may be into the underlaying 
thought and motive actuating Upchurch and his associ- 
ates in the inception and organization of the Order. 
In this, we are fortunate in having the written words 
of Upchurch himself, as contained in a letter written to 
J. M. McXair in reply to request for data relative to the 
institution of Jefferson lodge. This letter was written by 
Upchurch Feb. 3, 1873, following immediately after the 
organization of the Supreme Lodge of the Order and 
at such an early date in the history of the Order that 
the facts "would be fresh in mind and worthy of full 
credence. The following is an extract from said letter: 

Letter of J. J. Upchurch to J. M. McNair. 

Meadville, Pa., Feb. 3rd, 1873. 
Dear Sir & Bro. : 
Below I give you a few points that probably you are 
unacquainted with that may be of use to you in writing 
up the history of the Order. 

The circumstances which first led me to study the 
wants of the working people and the best way of arriving 
at them were as follows : 

In the year of 1864 I held the office of Master Me- 
chanic of the Mine Hill and Schuylkill Haven R. R. In 
the month of June of that year the crews of engineers 
on the road demanded an advance of fifty cents per day 
of wages. Engineers at that time were receiving three 


dollars and sixty cents per day. Their demands were 
made known to the company, when I was authorized to 
give them an advance of forty cents a day which would 
(give) engineers four dollars per day, conductors and 
brakemen in the same proportion. When I made the 
proposition, it was received with derision; at the same 
time I was told that their union had directed them to de- 
mand an advance of fifty cents and they would not go 
to work without it. 

It struck me very forcibly, the injustice in any order 
or society to assume to direct in a matter wherein they 
could not possibly know anything of the circumstances 
under which the difficulties had arisen and do arise be- 
tween employer and employee, as was very evident in 
the present difficulty. 

My mind seemed to be drawn towards the intro- 
duction of a plan whereby the necessity of all strikes 
might be obviated and all differences be settled by the 
more satisfactory method of compromise. 

In my mind the best means to accomplish this object 
was to bring together employer and employee face to 
face, by uniting them in the bonds of fraternal friend- 

Having matured a rough plan in my mind to accom- 
plish said object, I imparted my rough ideas in 1865 to 
Bro. Francis I. Keffer, of Petroleum Center. He en- 
couraged me, concurring in my views of the matter. 

Not having an opportunity of introducing my ideas, 
the whole matter was allowed to rest until June 2, 1868. 
At this time being a citizen of Meadville, Pa., I was pro- 
posed and elected as a suitable person to become a mem- 


ber of an Order or Society known as "League of Friend- 
ship, Supreme Mechanical Order of the Sun." I was 
not long in finding out that we were groping our way in 
the dark. We could get no information whatever from 
the officers of the Grand Council, as it was called, neither 
were we allowed a representative to that body unless we 
went further and joined what was called the "Knights 
of the Iron Ring." All we had to do was to pay more 
money or be quiet, live in ignorance and pay taxes. This 
information came to hand after stenuous efforts had been 
made to extract it. (This) was sufficient to convince me 
that the whole thing was a scheme, was rotten to' the 
core, gotten up for the purpose of fraud. From this 
time I was determined, if possible, to break up the hum- 
bug and introduce my ideas of right and justice between 
man and man, and went to work for the purpose." * * 

Following the above extract is recited the action of 
the League of Friendship lodge, in dissolving its or- 
ganization, the appointing of a committee with Upchurch 
as its chairman, to prepare a constitution and ritual for 
a new organization embodying the ideas advanced by 
Upchurch. Of this committee Walker was a member. 
The committee met October 10, 1868, at the house of Up- 
church, and Upchurch presented a draft of constitution 
prepared by him and also a draft of a first degree of a 
ritual, both of which were accepted and approved by 
the committee. 

On October 27, 1868, at the regular meeting of the 
League of Friendship, the committee reported. A motion 
was made and carried to dissolve the League of Friend- 
ship and proceed to the organization of a new Order. 


Upchurch presented the constitution and ritual approved 
by the committee, which was adopted, the League was 
declared dissolved and birth was given to that which af- 
terward culminated in the greatest and grandest move- 
ment of co-operative helpfulness the world has ever wit- 
nessed, viz., Fraternal Benefit Societies. 


The code of laws prepared by Upchurch's Committee 
and adopted at the organization of Jefferson Lodge, was 
never printed but we are fortunate in having the orig- 
inal copy in the handwriting of Upchurch as it was pre- 
sented and adopted by the lodge October 27, 1868. These 
laws were written in a small passbook which was carried 
by Upchurch in his pocket. Its soiled condition testifies 
to the truthfulness of what is certified to by Bro. J. 
M. McNair, to whom Bro. Upchurch gave the copy and 
who verifies its authenticity in a note on the cover of 
the original copy, as follows : 

This is a copy of the first Contitution of the A. O. U. 
W., and was given to me by Brother P. S. M. W. J. J. 
Upchurch. There were no printed copies at this time, 
and this copy was carried while at work by Brother 
t J. M. McNair. 

Deeming it to be a matter not only of interest to a 
large number of those who are concerned in Fraternal 
Benefit Societies, but also of importance in preserving a 
correct history of the first code of laws enacted for the 
government of the first lodge of the first Order among 



Fraternal Benefit Societies, the following entire copy 
thereof is given :" 



The mechanic and working men generally have long since 
seen the necessity of an order being established on principals 
broad enough to embrace all the various branches of the 
Mechanical Arts and Sciences, believing that by so doing the 
interest of its members will receive greater protection, for 
where there is union, there is strength. 

Section 1. 

This organization shall be known as Jefferson Lodge No. 1 
of the Ancient Order of United Workmen, to be composed of 
Mechanics and Mechanics' helpers, Artists and their assist- 
ants of the various branches. Its executive functions shall be 
vested in the officers hereinafter provided for according to the 
powers, privileges and limitations specified and enumerated. 



Section 1. 

Its objects shall be, first, to unite all Mechanics and Me- 
chanics' helpers and those regularly employed in any branch 
of the mechanical arts so that they may form one united 
body for the defense and protection of their interest against 
all encroachments and the elevation of labor to that standard 
it is justly entitled to. 

Section 2. 

To create and foster a more friendly and co-operative feel- 
ing amongst those who have a common interest, thereby 


enabling them to act promptly and decidedly in any matter 
which may affect said interest. 

Section 3. 

To examine and discuss those laws and usages, national, 
state and municipal, which may be considered (in) contra- 
vention to their interest; to establish and maintain a library 
for the purpose of inducing its members to acquire that 
knowledge that will fit and prepare them for any station in 

Section 4. 

To hold lectures from time to time as the interest of the 
Order may require, the reading of essays and the examina- 
tion and discussion of the merits and demerits of new im- 
provements, etc. 

Section 5. 

To use all legitimate means in their power to adjust all 
differences which may arise between employers and em- 
ployees and to labor for the development of a plan of action 
that may prove beneficial to both parties based on the eternal 
truth that the interest of Labor and Capital are equal and 
should receive equal protection. 

Section 6. 

To discontinue strikes except where they become abso- 
lutely necessary for their protection and then only after all 
efforts of adjustment have failed. 

Section 7. 

To give all moral and material aid in their power to mem- 
bers of this Order who may be afflicted or oppressed or who 
may be laboring under great difficulties to ameliorate their 

Section 8. 

To combine and direct all their influence for the elevation 
of the mechanic and laborer in mental, moral, social and civil 




Section 1. 

All mechanics, artisans, artists, engineers, foremen, train 
conductors, blacksmiths, helpers, and all white male persons 
regularly employed in any branch of the mechanical and sci- 
entific arts, twenty-one years of age, of a good moral char- 
acter, are eligible to membership in this Order. 

Section 2. 

In voting for candidates, if one blackball appears the 
candidate shall be declared rejected unless a motion is carried 
to reconsider the vote, when a new ballot may be had at the 
next stated meeting. Should one or more blackballs appear 
at the second ballot, the candidate shall be declared rejected 
when another application shall not be entertained for six 

Section 3. 

All propositions for membership shall be made in writing, 
stating age, residence, and occupation and recommended by a 
member of the Order. The petition shall be accompanied by 
one-half the initiation fee and read in the regular meeting of 
the Order and referred to a committee of three members for 
investigation who shall use every lawful means to ascertain 
the character and standing of the applicant. This proposition 
shall be read at each regular meeting and lay over two weeks 
when a ballot shall be had. Any one knowing the applicant 
to be of bad character, they shall make the fact known to 
said committee. 

Section 4. 

Should any member blackmail an applicant on account of 
personal, political or religious differences or for anything 
except being unworthy to sit in the Ancient Order of United 
Workmen, (he) shall on conviction be reprimanded, sus- 
pended or expelled as the Order may direct by a two-thirds 


Section 5. 

The initiation fee shall not be less than two dollars, one- 
half to accompany the proposition, the other half to be col- 
lected by the secretary before the initiation. Should the 
candidate be elected and he fails to come forward for initia- 
tion for the space of one month, the proposition fee shall be 
declared forfeited unless a good and sufficient excuse shall be 
given. Should he be rejected, the proposition fee shall be 


Section 1. 

The regular meetings of this Order shall be weekly at such 
time and place as a majority of members present may from 
time to time determine. 

Section 2. 

Five members and one officer shall constitute a quorum for 
the transaction of business. 

Section 3. 

Members of the Order who may pass an examination or 
vouched for by a member shall be entitled to sit in the lodge 
but shall take no part in the business transactions unless 
invited, but may speak under the rule of the good of the 



Section 1. 

The officers of the Ancient Order of United Workmen shall 
be a Master Workman, a General Foreman, one Overseer, one 
Guide, one Outside and one Inside Sentinel, a Secretary, Treas- 
urer, Chaplain and three Trustees, who shall be elected at 
their own consent at the last regular meeting in September 
and installed at the first regular meeting in October or as 
soon thereafter as practicable. 


Section 2. 

All officers shall be elected by ballot and receive a ma- 
jority of all votes cast. Where there is more than one candi- 
date running for one office, the one receiving the lowest vote 
shall be withdrawn. 



Section 1. 

It is the duty of the Master Workman as executive officer 
to preside at all meetings, maintain order, execute or cause 
to be executed all laws, rules and established usages of the 
Order, appoint committees, announce all votes, give the cast- 
ing vote in case of a tie vote, call special meetings, sign all 
orders, certificates, drafts and credentials, see that each officer 
attends strictly to his duties and have full returns and reports 
made out to Grand Lodge and forward therewith the percent- 
age before the installation of his successor, giving the number 
of members in good standing, the number rejected, suspended 
or expelled. 

Section 2. 

The Secretary shall keep a full and complete record of the 
transactions of the Order, countersign certificates, drafts and 
credentials, collect all moneys and enter the amount on the 
minutes and pay the same over to the Treasurer and take 
his receipt for the same, notify candidates of elections, call 
special meetings when ordered by the Master Workman and 
perform such other duties as the Master or the Order may 
direct and at the close of the year make out a full report of 
the standing and condition of the Order and deliver to his 
successor in office all books, papers and other property belong- 
ing to the Order. 

Section 3. 

The Treasurer shall receive and hold all moneys due or 
belonging to the Order, to have the same ever ready to meet 
any demands on the treasury and make disbursements when 


directed by drafts or checks. He shall keep a correct account 
'of all moneys received from whatever source and how ex- 
pended by drafts or checks, keeping them on file as vouchers 
He shall make out a quarterly report of the financial condi- 
tion of the Order, at the close of the year make out the annual 
report and perform such other duties as the Master Workman 
or the Order may direct and deliver to his successor all books, 
papers, money and other property in his hands belonging to 
the Order. He shall give bond with approved security in such 
sum as the Order may direct for the faithful performance, of 
his duties. 

Section 4. 

It shall be the duty of the General Foreman to render the 
Master Workman such assistance as the usages of the Order 
may require and in the absence of the Master Workman he 
shall take the supervision of the Order and preside in his stead. 

Section 5. 

The Overseer shall render such service as the Master or 
General Foreman may require and in the absence of the Gen- 
eral Foreman shall fill his station. 

Section 6. 

The Guide shall introduce all candidates and with a com- 
mittee shall examine all visitors and strangers, see that all 
members are properly clothed, collect and take charge of the 
regalia, etc., and perform such other duties as may be re- 
quired of him from time to time. 

Section 7. 

The Sentinels shall guard the inner and outer doors, keep 
off all intruders and perform such other duties as the Master 
Workman or the usages of the Order may from time to time 

Section 8. 

The Chaplain shall perform the opening and closing cere- 
mony and assist in such other duties as the usages of the 
Order may require. 


Section 1. 

The Board of Trustees shall hold all property, real and 
personal, in trust for the Order, invest all moneys when 
directed by the Order, taking bond with approved security and 
at the close of their term shall make a full report to the lodge. 

Section 2. 

All special committees shall report at the next regular 
meeting of the Order unless otherwise directed. All commit- 
tees shall be appointed from members present. 

Section 3. 

The Secretary and Treasurer shall furnish when directed 
by the Master Workman or the Order all information which 
may be in their possession in transacting business. 



Section 1. 

The regalia shall belong to the Order. 



Section 1. 

Every subordinate lodge shall pay to the Grand Lodge a 
tax of one dollar on each member in good standing in quar- 
terly installments for the support of Grand Lodge. 

Section 1. 

Any member violating his obligation shall be dealt with as 
prescribed therein. 

Section 2. 

On conviction of any other offense against the Constitution, 
rules or usages of the Order, neglect of duty, contempt in the 
meetings, shall be reprimanded, fined, suspended or expelled as 
the case may require. 


Section 3. 

All charges shall be made in writing, stating the offense to 
the Secretary, who shall under the call for new business read 
the same in open assembly and if not withdrawn with proper 
explanation the Master Workman shall appoint a time when 
the party shall be tried in open assembly. He shall be per- 
mitted to conduct his own case or select from the members of 
the Order. The Master Workman, General Foreman, Overseer, 
Guide and Chaplain shall act as judges in the case. 

Section 4. 

Should the party feel aggrieved he may take an appeal to 
the Grand Lodge which shall be final. He will, however, not 
be permitted to take part in the proceedings of the Order 
whilst his case is pending. 



Section 1. 

This Constitution shall not be altered or amended except by 
and with the consent of the Grand Lodge. 


Section 1. 

Each Subordinate Lodge may enact such By-Laws and 
Rules of Order as may be required for its working when not in 
conflict with this Constitution, subject to the approval of 
Grand Lodge. 

Section 1. 

No subordinate lodge shall be dissolved as long as there 
are five members in good standing who object thereto. 

Section 2. 

Should a lodge be dissolved or charter forfeited, all books, 
papers, moneys and other property of whatever description 
shall be delivered to the Deputy Grand Master Workman hav- 
ing the charge of the district for the benefit of Grand Lodge. 



In the handwriting of John Jordan Upchurch, 
Founder of the A. O. U. W. 

Section 1. 

When a vacancy shall occur in any office, an election shall 
be had at a regular meeting as soon thereafter as practicable 
to fill the office for the unexpired term. 

Section 1. 

In the absence of the District Deputy Grand Master Work- 
man, the Master Workman or any Past Master Workman may 
install the officers. 

Section 2. 

The Master Workman, General Foreman, Secretary, Treas- 
urer, Guide and Chaplain, shall constitute a relief committee 
under the direction of the Master Workman. Each member 
shall be subject to his order in attending to sick or disabled 
members, subject on failure to a fine of fifty cents. 

Section 1. 

Each subordinate lodge shall elect two representatives to 
Grand Lodge at their regular annual election to serve for one 

Section 2. 

The Master Workman shall appoint a standing business 
committee whose duty shall be to correspond with the differ- 
ent lodges and members in reference to those out of employ- 
ment and situations to be filled, and report immediately the 
facts to the proper person at Intelligence Office of Grand 
Lodge. They shall also report weekly to the lodge which they 
are subject to. 

Section 1. 

There shall be established when the Order numbers one 
thousand members an insurance office and policy issued, secur- 
ing at the death of the member insured not less than Five 
Hundred Dollars, to be paid to his lawful heirs. 


Section 1. 

When there are six subordinate lodges established in any 
state, they shall call a meeting of two representatives from 
each subordinate lodge and establish a state Grand Lodge, 
subject only to the National or Supreme Lodge. 

Section 2. 

The words ''white male persons" in Article III., Section 1, 
of this Constitution shall not be altered, amended, or expunged 
but shall remain unalterably fixed as specified. 

Section 3. 

Any member being over three months in arrears for dues or 
fines shall not be privileged to vote at aD election or hoi.] 


A perusal of the foregoing Constitution and Laws 
leads to the conclusion that among the motives which 
inspired Upchurch and his co-laborers in their separation 
from the League of Frandship and the organization of a 
new Order, life insurance was not the central idea, which 
today largely makes the distinctive characteristics of Fra- 
ternal Benefit Organizations, but that it was incidental 
to the main object. This is evidenced by the meager 
provision made therefor in Article XVII of the Consti- 
tution adopted. That this is true is further emphasized 
by the declared objects as set forth in Article II, in which 
no indication is found that would lead to a conclusion 
that it was in mind to establish a society the controlling 
feature of which was to be Fraternal co-operative life 
insurance or protection, as now represented by Fraternal 
Benefit Societies. 


That which controlled the mind of Upchurch and his 
associates was to bring together through the medium of 
lodge affiliation employer and employee, and under sol- 
emn bond of helpful co-operation, adjust differences that 
might arise between them and thus avoid strikes. In 
the autobiography of Upchurch he clearly sets forth that 
this was the main incentive that led him to formulate 
plans that culminated in the organization of Jefferson 

It followed quite naturally that in contemplating the 
scope of the broad humanitarianism to be achieved, so 
prominent in the mind of Upchurch and his associates, 
that the care and protection of the widow and orphans 
of a deceased brother should demand consideration and 
thus it occurred that provision was made that when the 
society assumed such proportions as would warrant, five 
hundred dollars was to be paid to the legal representa- 
tives of the brother. Upchurch's letter before quoted 
clearly proves this conclusion to be the correct one. In 
saying this, however, it is not the desire to detract in the 
least from the great honor that rightfully belongs to 
Father Upchurch as the founder of this great movement. 
It grew directly from the small seed which he planted in 
Section i. Article XYII, of the foregoing Constitution of 
Jefferson Lodge Xo. I. From a mere incident to the 
main purpose, it soon became the controlling object of 
the organization, as will more fully appear as this history 

While the main object of Upchurch and his associates 


in organizing a new Order was the adjusting of differ- 
ences that might arise between capital and labor, "based 
on the eternal truth that the interests of labor and capital 
are equal and should receive equal protection," and the 
discontinuance of strikes except when absolutely neces- 
sary and after all efforts of adjustment had failed, there 
is apparent in the "objects" ais adopted a still more im- 
portant principle enunciated, underlying the whole pur- 
pose of the organization, forming the basis upon which 
the structure was to be builded ; towit, co-operative help- 
fulness — a fraternal interest one in the other — not only a 
mutual effort to lend aid in time of trouble and distress, 
but to effect a higher standard of social and moral uplift. 

Father Upchurch was a Mason and his susceptible 
nature had inculcated in large measure the fraternal, 
brotherly teachings, so fully woven into the texture of the 
fabric of that ancient and honorable craft. In the ritual 
which he presented for adoption the first meeting night of 
Jefferson Lodge, and which was without doubt the product 
of his own brain, as well as the Constitution and Laws 
presented by his committee, all verify the fact that he 
recognized as the essential basis, upon which the new or- 
ganization must rest to be successful, the binding of the 
members together by solemn obligation, to recognize 
and carry out with fidelity the principle of brotherhood 
as exemplified in practical helpfulness along all lines, 
tending to individual betterment. 

It is true that Upchurch and his associates sought 
to gather within the fold of membership only such per- 
sons as would naturally be attracted by the controlling 


motive of the organisation, so membership was restricted 
as enumerated in Section I, Article III, to the field of 
manual labor. This fact, however, does not detract from 
the honor of those instrumental in starting a movement 
that embodied a principle soon to be enlarged and per- 
fected as the greatest movement of the age, in practical 

Upchurch's experience as a mechanic, and especially 
as Master Mechanic of the Mine Hill and Schuylkill 
Haven Railroad, in which a strike of the employees oc- 
curred, involving unjust demands on the part of the labor- 
ers, arbitrarily enforced by demand of the labor union 
with which they were affiliated, led him to meditate on 
plans that might be adopted by which such unfortunate 
conditions might be avoided. After four year's study 
over the matter, his thought found expression in the laws 
and ritual of Jefferson Lodge, Ancient Order of United 
Workmen. An ardent and faithful Mason, it was but 
natural that he should be led to apply the lessons of 
brotherly love and fellowship, so prominent in Masonry, 
and make them the vital feature of the new Order. It 
was through the fraternal bond of union that he trusted 
to solve the labor problems, and not by strikes but by 
arbitration. This was the practical idea prominent in his 
mind, and the insurance provision was only a minor con- 
sideration, incident to the main purpose. The basis was 
practical and applied fraternity and although for the time 
being it was restricted to a class, yet in a short time it 
was forced into the broader field of unlimited philan- 
thropy which has now stood the test of nearly half a cen- 
tury, with ever increasing strength and efficiency. 


The main object of Upchurch af!d his associates, to 
prevent strikes among laboring men, by arbitrating dif- 
ferences arising between employer and employees, was 
destined in a short time to be overshadowed by the inci- 
dental feature of insurance so meagerly set forth in the 
first constitution and laws. This was a source of deep 
regret to Upchurch, so much so that for years he with- 
drew himself from all active participation with the af- 
fairs of the Order. In time, however, he became recon- 
ciled to the changed course the Order pursued and en- 
tered into cordial efficient co-operation therein. 


The minutes of the first meeting of Jefferson Lodge 
are very meager in detail, only noting the dissolution of 
the League of Friendship, the admission of fourteen 
members, the adoption of the Constitution as previously 
prepared by the committee and the election of officers. 

The following is a copy of the minutes as recorded by 
the secretary: 

"Meadville Oct. 27th 1868 

"After the dissolution of the K. S. of S. M. O. S., and Char- 
ter removed, it was moved and seconded that we accept the 
new Constitution subject to revisal of phraseology. 

On motion it was adopted that the Chairman of Committee 
on Revisal of the work of the Order, administer the obligation 
to those present when the following members received it and 
paid the sum of one dollar. 


J. Upchurch 


M. H. McNair 





H. C. Deross 





J. R. Umberger 



F. Upchurch 


S. Rositer 



. C. Newberry 


J. Lansen 



W. S. White ♦ 1.00 A. P. Ogden l.OO 

S. R. Hulse 1.00 J. Tracy 1.00 

Whole Amount $14.00 

On motion it was ordered that we go into nomination and 
election for officers for the ensuing year, when the following 
brothers were placed in nomination and elected: 

Master Workman, J. J. Upchurch; General Foreman, J. R. 
Umberger; Inside Sentinel, S. Rositer ; Outside Sentinel, W. 
S. White; Secretary, M. H. McNair; Overseer, J. A. Tracy; 
Guide, H. C. Deross; Chaplain, A. P. Ogden; Treasurer, S. R. 
Hulse; Trustees — W. C. Newberry, T. F. Upchurch, P. Linen. 

There being no other business, this meeting adjourned in 
due form. 

M. H. McNair 



The second meeting of Jefferson Lodge occured on 
November 3, 1868. Of the original fourteen who had 
been present at the first meeting, only seven were present 
at the second meeting. Upchurch in his autobiography 
explains the reason for this as follows : "On the morn- 
ing of the 28th (October) several of the members came 
to me and demanded that the words 'white male' be 
stricken from the Constitution, which I refused to do. 
The Recorder (Secretary) then refunded to each man 
his entrance fee." 

At this meeting William W. Walker, F. Metz and T. 
A. Klock were admitted to membership. Walker, as has 
been before noted, was destined afterward to become a 
prominent factor in the early history of the Order. He 
was a machinist in the employ of the Atlantic and Great 
Western Railroad and associated with Upchurch in the 


machine shops of the road. He had been on the com- 
mittee with Upchurch in the formation of the Consti- 
tution and Laws that were presented at the first meet- 
ing of the lodge. He was not present at the meeting 
October 27th but claimed that this meeting was but pre- 
liminary to the real organization and that as he had been 
active with Upchurch in the preliminary work, he should 
be accorded an equal share of the honor with him. 
Some years after the organization of the Supreme Lodge, 
this matter of controversy between Upchurch and Walk- 
er was before that body and it was definitely determined 
that the date of organization of the Order should be 
October 27th, 1868, and that to Upchurch belonged the 
honor of being its founder. 


On the third meeting, November 10th, action was 
taken expelling from the Order M. H. McNair, A. P. 
Ogden and S. R. Hulse for "refunding the initiation fees 
collected October 27th without authority for so doing." 
This left only eleven members of the fourteen originally 
obligated at the first meeting October 2J, 1868. 

On the fourth meeting, November 17th, several new 
members having been admitted to membership, the va- 
cancies in the offices were filled by election and all the 
officers were duly installed to serve for one year. Walker 
was elected and installed as Secretary, Upchurch retain- 
ing the position of Master Workman. 

At this meeting it was voted that the Lodge be 
known as Jefferson Lodge No. 1. Ancient Order of 
United Workmen. 


At the meeting December I, 1868, it was voted to 
procure "six pass-books" in which to copy the Constitu- 
tion and Laws for the benefit of the members. 

No matters of particular historical note are found 
upon the records, other than the initiation of candidates 
for membership, until April 28, 1869, at which time it 
appears that the Constitution and by-laws were again 
before the lodge for action. No draft, however, of such 
laws, are contained in the minutes, and it is probable 
they were the same as had previously been authorized 
to be copied in pass-books ; only such changes being made 
as became necessary by the adoption of a name for the 
lodge, meeting night, etc. These laws were at this meet- 
ing directed to be printed, and as a bill for thirteen dol- 
lars was on May 26th following approved, there is no 
doubt but that there were printed copies existent at that 
time, but unfortunately none has been preserved so far 
as the writer is informed. 

At the meeting May 26, 1869, Walker resigned as 
secretary and William Shaffer was elected to the position. 

At this meeting it is noted upon the minutes that the 
"third degree" was conferred on all members present. 
Up to this meeting, no record appears of other than a 
First Degree, the Second Degree necessarily must have 
been prepared in the interim and conferred upon the 
members, as note is made at the following meeting of 
the conferring of such second degree. The first ritual, 
afterward known as the "Upchurch Ritual," consisted of 
four separate degrees and was entirely the work of 
Father Upchurch. It was not, however, put into printed 
form until 1871. 



The meeting July 14, 1869, was an important one 
in the history of Jefferson Lodge. At that meeting, 
according to the recorded minutes, Grand Lodge officers 
were elected. Under what warrant of law, as provided 
by the Constitution then in force, this action was taken 
does not appear. It can only be concluded that re- 
alizing the necessity of some authority that could act 
in establishing other lodges and otherwise performing 
the functions of a Grand Lodge, until such time as the 
requisite six lodges, necessary to the formation of a 
Grand Lodge as required by the Constitution, were or- 
ganized, such action was taken without authority other 
than the action of the lodge conferred. 

The following were elected as Provisional Grand 
Lodge officers with titles as recorded in the minutes : 
Grand Master, J. J. Upchurch ; Grand Foreman, O. M. 
Barnes ; Grand Chaplain, D. Kelling ; Grand Overseer, 
A. Klock ; Grand Guide, D. Bush ; Grand Sentinel, J. 
Cassaway; Grand Trustees, P. Oster and A. Oster; 
Grand Treasurer, P. Linen ; Grand Secretary, R. Grieves. 

The above Provisional Grand Lodge Officers were not 
identical with the officers of Jefferson Lodge. Upchurch, 
however, was at the same time Master Workman of the 
Lodge and also Provisional Grand Master Workman. 

It does not appear by the records that Jefferson 
Lodge held any control over or assumed to direct in any 
manner the actions of the Grand Lodge officers. No 
doubt it was understood that these Grand Lodge officers 
were bound to carry out the provisions of the Consti- 


tution and ritual, adopted by Jefferson Lodge, and be 
guided thereby until such time as six subordinate lodges 
were organized and a Grand Lodge convened. These 
officers were but a temporary expedient for the pro- 
pagating of the Order, operative only until the time 
that the requisite number of lodges were organized to 
establish a Grand Lodge. 

This question of delegated authority afterward be- 
came a matter of controversy and eventually led to the 
separation of the lodges of the Order, as will here- 
after appear. 


In the meantime Jefferson Lodge had enjoyed a good 
degree of prosperity. Upwards of fifty persons had been 
admited to membership and each meeting night applica- 
tions were received and degrees conferred. 

On the meeting night July 24, 1869, Walker with 
others received the third degree of the Order and on 
August 28th following, the fourth degree. 

September 22, 1869, an election of officers of the 
lodge took place. Both Upchurch and Walker were 
nominees for the office of Master Worman. The elec- 
tion resulted in placing. Walker in that chair. 

At this meeting three members were elected as rep- 
resentatives to the formation of a Grand Lodge. 

Not until the meeting of November 11, 1869, is 
any mention made in the records of Jefferson Lodge of 
the receipts of any monies to be applied to the "Insur- 
ance Fund" so called. At that meeting the financial 
secretary was instructed "to notify all members to pay 


the insurance fee." No record is found up to this time 
as to what this ''insurance fee" was to be — the amount 
to be collected from the members or to whom it was to 
be paid, the Constitution and Laws being silent relative 
thereto. The only provision of the laws relative to this 
matter was Section i of Article XVII which provided 
for establishing an "insurance office" when the member- 
ship numbered one thousand, and that five hundred 
dollars be paid to the "lawful heirs." 

Each member was required at his initiation to pay 
two' dollars as a fee for the degrees, but this fund was 
for the general expenses of the lodge and no part of 
it was for the purposes of the insurance fund. 

It is to be presumed, although there is no record to 
that effect, that what was afterward adopted as a plan for 
raising and disbursing this insurance fund, viz., that 
each member should pay one dollar into the fund and 
when a member died, the amount was to be forwarded 
to the widow and orphans of the deceased brother, 
was from the inception of the Order in the minds of 
its founders as one of the benefits in time to be accom- 
plished. The lack of any specific provisions to carry 
out this feature, emphasizes the fact that up to this time 
and for some time thereafter, the matter of insurance 
or protection, which afterward became the leading fea- 
ture of the organization, was considered merely inci- 
dental to the main object — the promotion of the interests 
of mechanics and laboring men by preventing strikes 
and by means of arbitration adjust differences arising 
between capital and labor. 

At the organization of Jefferson Lodge and the 

adoption of its Constitution and Laws, provision was 
only made for a recording secretary, and the duty of 
collecting the fees and dues for the lodge devolved upon 
this officer. Sometime however, between the date of 
organization and September, 1869, a new office had been 
created known as "Financial Secretary," whose duty it 
was to collect all fees and dues from the members and 
turn the same over to the Treasurer. It is likely that this 
change, creating a new office, occured at the time the 
laws were revised for printing April 28, 1869. 

At the meeting October 23, 1869, Walker reported 
to the lodge "that he had been in Cincinnati, Ohio, and 
that he had commenced a lodge there and that they 
wanted the paraphernalia sent on as soon as possible. " 
On November 11, 1869, report is made that J. R. Um- 
berger, one of the original fourteen members, had or- 
ganized a lodge in Cincinnati and his name was placed 
upon the records of Jefferson Lodge as an "honorary 
member." This lodge however was not organized until 
early in the year 1870 and was known as Washington 
Lodge Xo. 1, the first lodge of the Order in Ohio. 

It appears that a short time previous to this meeting, 
November 11, 1869, that Upchurch had removed from 
Meadville to Leavittsburg, Ohio, where he was still em- 
ployed as machinist in the Atlantic and Great Western 
Shops at that place. He still, however, retained his mem- 
bership in Jefferson Lodge and also continued as Pro- 
visional Grand Master Workman. Xote is made in the 
records of a letter received from Upchurch, returning 
thanks for a "handsome present which he received before 
leaving Meadville." 



On the sixth day of October, 1869, a meeting of the 
Provisional Grand Lodge, as it was termed, was held 
at Meadville." As there was at that date only one lodge 
in existence, the meeting must have consisted of the 
Provisional Grand Officers and possibly delegates from 
Jefferson Lodge. This meeting, however, has been 
designated as the "First Grand Lodge meeting of the 
Order." At this meeting the following were elected: 

J. J. Upchurch, Grand Master Workman. 

O. M. Barnes, Grand General Foreman. 

A. Klock, Grand Overseer. 

R. Grieve, Grand Secretary. 

P. Linen, Grand Treasurer. 

D. Keeling, Grand Chaplain. 

D. H. Bush, Grand Guide. 

J. Carraway, Grand Sentinel. 

P. Oster and A. Oster, Grand Trustees. 

This meeting is important as showing the growing 
interest manifested in the insurance feature, which 
theretofore had apparently received but slight considera- 

At this meeting Upchurch presented an amended Ar- 
ticle XXII, designated as "Insurance Article'' which was 
adopted and became a part of the Constitution. 

The importance of this effort to place this feature 
of the Order upon a systematic basis of operation is 
deemed of sufficient interest to warrant its insertion in 
full as follows : 

"insurance ARTICLE." 
Section 1. Each and every candidate for initiation shall 


pay to the F. the sum of one dollar for insurance, and the 
sum of all such payment, to be known as the Insurance Fund, 
shall be placed by each individual subordinate lodge in bank, 
or other secure place, from which it can be drawn at sight, 
when called for by the Grand Lodge, or the immediate neces- 
sity of the subordinate lodge, as hereinafter provided. 

Sec. 2. The highest policy of insurance guaranteed by this 
Constitution shall not exceed Two Thousand Dollars, and 
until such time as the above sum shall have been subscribed 
to, at the rate specified in Sec. 1, the issue of insurance policy 
shall be equal in amount, in dollars, to the actual number of 
members in the Order. 

Sec. 3. On the death of a brother, the Relief Committee, 
through the Trustees shall draw the amount of insurance 
held by the subordinate lodge of which the deceased has been 
a member, and after having defrayed all funeral expenses, 
deliver the balance to his family or heirs: provided, however, 
that the lodge shall be assured and satisfied that the money 
thus placed at their disposal shall be judiciously used by and 
for the maintenance of the family of the deceased; otherwise 
it shall be held in trust by the lodge and delivered in such 
sums and at such times as the circumstances of the family 
may demand. Should it so happen that the death of two or 
more brothers occur at the same time, the amount of insur- 
ance fund on hand shall be equally divided between the 
families or heirs of each, and as soon thereafter, as provided 
in Section 5, this Article, when the insurance assessment shall 
be collected, the balance to which the heirs are entitled shall 
immediately be forwarded to the respective claimants. 

Sec. 4. The Recorder of the subordinate lodge in which 
a death may happen, shall immediately notify the Grand Re- 
corder of the fact ; when the Grand Lodge shall collect the 
several sums of insurance fund held by each and all the other 
subordinate lodges, and forward the amount to the Recorder 
of the subordinate lodge of which the deceased brother was a 
member; and said lodge shall see that the entire sum thus 


placed in its hands shall be properly and judiciously applied 
for the benefit of the family or heirs of the deceased. 

Sec. 5. To replace the insurance fund drawn on the occa- 
sion of the death of a brother, each member shall pay to the 
Financier of his respective lodge the sum of one dollar: pro- 
vided, however, that the number of members in the Order 
does not exceed two thousand, but if over two thousand, the 
Grand Lodge at its regular stated session shall designate the 
pro rata assessment which shall be paid to furnish the maxi- 
mum amount of insurance, which shall be placed as provided 
in Section 1. 

Sec. 6. Any member refusing or failing to pay the insur- 
ance assessment within thirty days after being duly notified 
by the Financier shall forfeit his membership in the Order. 
And any subordinate lodge failing to forward the amount of 
insurance held by it for the term of twenty days after being 
duly notified by the Recorder of the Grand Lodge, shall for- 
feit its charter; and all books, papers, and other property 
shall be placed in the possession of the District Deputy 
G. M. W. 

Sec. 7. The Financier of each subordinate lodge shall keep 
a record of all business relating to insurance, in a book set 
apart for that purpose alone. 


Sec. 8. A member fifty years of age or upwards, feeling 
incapable of further pursuing daily manual labor, and who 
can exhibit an honorable record in the Order for ten succes- 
sive preceding years, desiring to enter upon a trade or busi- 
ness more suitable to his declining health or strength, may, 
upon application to the lodge in which he is a member, ob- 
tain half the amount of insurance to which, in case of his 
death, his family or heirs would be entitled. 

Sec. 9. When the insurance contribution shall have 
reached a sum not less than one thousand dollars, any mem- 
ber whose record is of good standing for one next preceding 
year, and clear of all charges on the books, rendered by dis- 


ease or accident permanently incapable of supporting himself 
or family by manual labor, and wishing to enter upon busi- 
ness suitable to his physical condition, may receive insurance 
in the sum of one-fourth the amount then on hand. And to a 
brother afflicted with total disability, the above sum of one- 
fourth the amount then on hand shall be issued by install- 
ments at such times and in such sums as the lodge may de- 

Sec. 10. A brother entitled to the provisions set forth in 
Sections 8 and 9 shall not be permitted to enter upon a busi- 
ness that may have a tendency to bring disrepute or. dishonor 
on himself or the Order, or which may lead directly to favor 
intemperance, or Immorality, or vice. And no member shall 
be entitled to the privileges set forth in Section 9 who may, 
by disreputable means reduce himself to a condition of dis- 

Sec. 11. When an aged or disabled brother shall make 
application for insurance, as per Sections 8 and 9, the M. W. 
shall appoint a committee of five, who shall thoroughly, rig- 
idly and impartially investigate the character and record of 
the applicant — the kind of business he contemplates entering 
upon, and his qualifications and ability to conduct the same 
successfully; and, in writing, report to the lodge thereon, at 
each of three successive regular or stated meetings, when a 
decision shall be rendered, subject, however, to the approval 
of the Grand Lodge, at its annual or semi-annual session. A 
majority of the above committee shall be chosen from the 
list of elective officers of the Lodge. 

Sec. 12. Any member of the committee failing to promptly 
comply with the requirements of Section 11, or who may by 
fraudulent representations tend to deceive the lodge, thereby 
producing a partial or unjust decision, shall be suspended or 
expelled, as the Lodge may determine. 

Sec. 13. When it is definitely decided to extend to any 
brother the privileges set forth in Sections 8 and 9, it shall be 
the duty of the Supreme Lodge, before paying any money to 


said brother, to demand and receive from him his bond, duly 
and legally drawn up and endorsed by two responsible parties, 
for an amount equal to that which he receives from the Insur- 
ance Fund, as security for his observance of, compliance with, 
and maintenance of all and every requirement of this Consti- 
tution, at all times and under any and all circumstances dur- 
ing life. 

Sec. 14. A brother may designate and have recorded in the 
insurance book the person or persons whom he may choose to 
recognize as his legal heir or heirs ; and have the same changed 
at any time he may so desire. 

Sec. 15. Should no such designation and record be made 
by a brother, the S. L, shall, at its discretion, select one or 
more, or divide in equal shares among the following relatives 
of deceased; wife, children, father, mother, sister and brother. 

Sec. 16. When no heir shall have been designated, accord- 
ing to Section 14, or the lodge knows of no legal heir of a 
deceased brother, the amount of insurance in the hands of each 
Subordinate Lodge shall thereafter be known as the Relief 
Fund, to be used in affording relief to brothers out of employ- 
ment, or traveling in search of the same, or other assistance to 
a brother in distress; in which event the Insurance Fund shall 
again be replenished, as provided in Section 5. 

Sec. 17. A member who has not received the degree of 
Master Workman shall not be entitled to the benefits of insur- 
ance, as set forth in Sections 8 and 9. 

While credit is given to Upchurch for the presenta- 
tion of the above amended article of laws, no doubt he 
had the assistance of his associate officers and other 
members of Jefferson Lodge. Upchurch's mind was not 
formed in such a manner as rendered him efficient in 
working out practical business details. His broad 
philanthropy grasped only the idea of benefits to be 
desired, trusting to the bond of fraternal obligation to 
fulfill necessary details to proper execution. Walker in 


this regard was much more efficient than Upchurch and 
claimed, with possible justice, that equal credit is due 

him in this matter of the amended article. 

Nearly one year had now elapsed since the organiza- 
tion of Jefferson Lodge and yet, up to the meeting 
October 6th, 1869, the records are silent as to any interest 
being taken in the insurance feature. No deaths had oc- 
curred in the lodge and as the original provision of the 
law did not contemplate putting this feature into opera- 
tion until the Order numbered one thousand members, 
it remained as an object to be accomplished in the future. 
The amended "Insurance Article," however, shows that 
there had been a growing interest in this feature of the 
organization, and that it had not been so overshadowed 
by the main purpose as to become an unimportant and 
discarded part thereof. 

Under the new law, the insurance feature was to go 
into immediate operation. The "Insurance Fund" was 
to be established under the supervision of the Grand 
Lodge Officers, and each Subordinate Lodge was to cre- 
ate the same by the collection of one dollar from each 
member, the same to be held, by the lodge, until called 
for by the Grand Lodge when it was to be paid over 
to the family or heirs of the deceased brother. 

Until such time as the membership reached two thous- 
and, the amount to be paid the widows and orphans 
was to be one dollar for each member, but in no case 
to exceed two thousand dollars. Each member was re- 
quired to place his dollar in the fund in advance so that 
no delay could be had in its immediate payment as soon 


as death had taken the support of the bread winner from 
the home. 

In the light of to-day, with the manifold laws in force 
governing Fraternal Benefit Societies, how simple and 
meager seem the few short paragraphs that formed the 
original basis upon which such mammoth structures have 
since been builded. Firm and unbounded reliance was 
placed in the obligations of the members to be true and 
faithful, one to the other. Integrity of purpose, the 
forefront attribute of the mind of upright and unselfish 
men, formed the reliance of these pioneer fraternalists 
and made elaborate details unnecessary to the accomplish- 
ment of their humitarian purposes. That this confidence 
and reliance was truthfully a characteristic of these pion- 
eers, generating a loyalty to the society of pronounced 
tenacity, the early days of their history give ample proof. 

It is safe to say that not one of these pioneer fraternal- 
ists possessed any technical knowledge of life insurance. 
The word "insurance" to them meant "protection", pure 
and simple; mortuary tables and scientific deductions 
therefrom were unknown to them and, no doubt, had 
they had any information regarding such tables and rates, 
they would have looked upon them as a cunning subter- 
fuge of the Life Insurance Companies by which to en- 
hance the profits of their business. The lack of know- 
ledge in this regard is not traceable to the more than 
general ignorance of these men, but to the fact that life 
insurance in this country was still in its infancy and that 
little or no knowledge existed even among the more 
learned and intelligent as to the scientific basis upon which 
the business was conducted. Fifty years ago it was a 


rare occurrence to find a man of moderate income who 
held a life insurance policy. The rates were very high 
and confidence in the system was, by no means, firmly 
established so those only who were financially well to do 
and who were willing to take a chance of the future 
solvency of the company were holders of policies. Life 
insurance as it then existed made but slight appeal to 
the poor man, for while he felt the need of protection for 
his family he neither had the requisite confidence nor the 
financial ability to avail himself of the opportunities pre- 

The insurance these pioneer fraternalists had in mind 
was a broad and unselfish humanitarianism, restricted it 
is true, to the common laboring classes with special refer- 
ence to those engaged in mechanical pursuits, by which 
they sought to relieve the widows and orphans of their 
deceased members, from pecuniary loss and distress when 
the main support had been removed. This worthy object 
appealed to them and incited a spirit of co-operation such 
as made them willing to contribute, by organized method, 
when death invaded their ranks. 

In anticipation of a possible increase in membership to 
two thousand, an expectation far removed in the dim vista 
of the future, they set the limit at which their benefac- 
tions should cease. 


The spirit of co-operative helpfulness did not stop 
with the provisions made for the care of the widows and 
orphans but, as set forth in the section of the law en- 
titled ''Disability" it was extended to the living members 


as well. From the Insurance Fund protection was to be 
extended to disabled brethren who were disqualified to 
perform manual labor, by assisting them to enter some 
business suited to their infirmity, by which they could 
support their family. Careful investigation * was to be 
made by the lodge as to the character, habits and adapta- 
bility of the brother to the business selected, before his 
entering therein. 

Further, a "Relief Fund", under specified conditions 
was provided for, to be available in assisting members 
out of employment or in distress. 

Utopian as some of these provisions appear, yet they 
emphasize, in no uncertain degree, the unselfish co-opera- 
tive spirit that pervaded the ranks and which constituted 
the main reliance for success. It may be questioned, if 
in the evolution to more practicable and scientific methods 
which have occurred during the near half-century of their 
history, Fraternal Benefit Societies have not lost some of 
that commendable co-operative and helpful spirit so pro- 
nounced and characteristic of these pioneer days. 


In the minutes of Jefferson Lodge, November 24, 
1869, ^ is recorded that thirteen dollars was received for 
"insurance." This is the first entry in the records of the 
lodge setting aside, as a separate fund, any money col- 
lected from the membership for this distinctive purpose. 
The election of a Financial Secretary a few meetings pre- 
vious, and instructions for him to notify members to pay 
the "insurance" due from them, proves conclusively that 
this feature of the organization had been for sometime 


previous, contemplated and understood by the members, 
although nothing is recorded on the minutes, making pro- 
visions therefor, other than that contemplated in Article 
XVII, as adopted at the organization of the lodge and as 
amended at the meeting of the Provisional Grand Lodge 
October 6, 1869. 

What seer with prophetic vision could, forty-five years 
ago, have anticipated that from this diminutive germ there 
was to spring forth a living active force that in so short a 
time would spread its influence throughout the world of 
finance and become a boon of protection to millions up- 
on millions of people? Who, even in the wild flights of 
imagination could have aimed so high as to prophesy that 
from this starting point of small contribution to a noble 
and exalted purpose, there would come the establishment 
of a firm and lasting system of mutual co-operation, the 
benefactions of which, in so short a time would reach 
the marvelous sum of nearly two thousand, two hundred 
and fifty millions of dollars, and that at this present time, 
this great work continues with increased vitality, dis- 
pensing nearly one hundred millions annually, in pro- 
tecting the homes of those within its fold when sickness 
or death has entered. When we contemplate this mar- 
velous growth of an idea working itself out in practical 
humanitarianism, we look in vain for a parallel in other 
departments of social or business enterprise. 


In January, 1870, the second Lodge in Pennsylvania 
was organized at Corry, which was known as Corry 


Lodge No. 2. Following.soon after, Franklin Lodge No. 

3 was instituted at Franklin, Pa. 

On March 16, 1870, action was taken by Jefferson 
Lodge No. 1 giving consent to the organization of an- 
other Lodge in Meadville, Pa. Jefferson Lodge, up to 
this time, had been very prosperous. Its membership 
had increased to more than one hundred ; it had moved 
into a new hall, which had been newly furnished by the 
lodge at the expenditure of quite a large sum; lectures by 
college professors and others were given to which the 
public was invited and there was manifest a zealous and 
progressive spirit among the membership. 

Following soon after the consent of Jefferson Lodge 
for the organization of a new; lodge, Keystone Lodge No. 

4 was organized in Meadville. Walker did not withdraw 
from Jefferson Lodge but was an active factor in the 
instituting of the new lodge. A number ; of the members 
of Jefferson Lodge withdrew and became members of 
Keystone Lodge No. 4. At this time there were evi- 
dences of friction between Upchurch and Walker, that 
in the near future resulted in an open rupture between 
them ; each had his adherents and considerable bitter 
feeling resulted between the two lodges. 

During the year 1870, three additional lodges were 
instituted in Pennsylvania : Perry Lodge No. 5, North 
East; Petroleum Lodge No. 6, Titusville; Union Lodge 
No. 7, Union Mills, and preliminary steps had been 
taken toward organizing others. 

The above named lodges were established through 
the influence of the men connected with the railroad 
shops at Meadville and the membership was, in the main, 


composed of mechanics and laboring men in the employ 
of the Atlantic and Great Western Railroad Company 
(now Erie). 


A meeting of the Provisional Grand Lodge was held 
at Meadville, Pa., July 4, 1870. The minutes of this 
meeting, so far as the writer is informed, were never put 
in printed form, but a copy of the actions had by the 
Grand Lodge, as promulgated by the Grand Recorder to 
the Subordinate Lodges, is available and among other 
actions, a series of resolutions passed by the Grand Lodge 
are given and from these we quote some that are consid- 
ered of sufficient importance to be inserted herein as 
follows : 

*t» *t" *K "v- *j* *fc *t» 

"4th. That all white workingmen, twenty-one years 
of age and upwards, of good moral character, and whose 
interests are identical with those of labor, are eligible for 
membership in the Order. 

"5th. That Lawyers and Saloon-keepers are not 
eligible for membership in this Order (This clause to be 
placed in the Secret Work and (not) to be printed in the 

"6th. That we, as a body, recognize no political party 
either in or out of the lodge room, and hereby pledge our- 
selves never to support 'any man who is not in favor of 
elevating the mechanic and laborer to that position which 
God, in His wisdom, created him to fill. And, in no case, 
will we countenance the man of wealth who will not in- 


vest his capital in some manufacture, so as to give em- 
ployment to the laboring classes. 

"7th. That should any member use the name of the 
Order politically for self aggrandizement, he shall be 
expelled from the Order. 

"14th. That the introduction or discussion of relig- 
ious subjects in a lodge of the Order, is strictly pro- 
hibited and no brother outside of the lodge room shall, 
by word or action, involve the name or work of the Order 
in connection therewith. 

"15th. That introduction or discussion of political 
subjects in a lodge of this Order, is strictly forbidden and 
no brother shall, by word or action, involve the name or 
work of the Order in connection therewith." 

In the omitted sections of the actions of the Grand 
Lodge no reference is made to "insurance" matters. The 
attention apparently was entirely directed to such details 
as tended to perfect the main purpose of the organization, 
as heretofore enunciated. The class prejudices revealed 
by the restrictive measures adopted, emphasize, in no 
small degree, the moving designs still animating the con- 
trolling power of the society. 

The classing of lawyers and saloon-keepers in the 
same debarring resolution, may raise a question of wise 
discrimination upon the part of these pioneer fraterna- 
lists ; perhaps, were they alive today, they would acknow- 
ledge their error as to the former, but as to the latter 
their good judgment has been amply verified. 



In the latter part of the year 1870, seven Subordi- 
nate Lodges were in existence in the State of Pennsyl- 
vania and one Lodge in Ohio. Under the provisions of 
the Constitution, the Lodges in Pennsylvania were enti- 
tied to the organization of a Grand Lodge, to supplant 
the Provisional Grand Lodge. A meeting was held in 
Meadville, Pa., December 10, 1870, at which were present 
the Provisional Grand Lodge Officers and Representa- 
tives of four of the Subordinate Lodges. Petition was 
made to Upchurch, as Provisional Grand Master Work- 
man, to call a meeting of delegates for the formation of 
a Constitutional Grand Lodge. This he refused to do 
and the Representatives who were present at the meeting, 
passed a series of resolutions condemnatory of the act of 
the Provisional Grand Master Workman, in his refusal to 
issue the call and they joined in a call for a convention to 
be held in Corry, Pa., December 24, 1870, for the purpose 
of taking preliminary steps for the formation of a Grand 
Lodge. Upchurch justified his refusal to act favorably 
upon the petition of a majority of the Representatives of 
the Subordinate Lodges in this matter, holding that the 
section of the law under which the lodges demanded the 
call to be made had reference alone to lodges outside of 
the State of Pennsylvania. There had been apparent for 
some time, a growing antagonism between Upchurch and 
Walker, both contending for leadership and both having 
adherents among the members. Walker was foremost in 
pressing for the formation of the Grand Lodge and Up- 


church, no doubt, thought his prerogative as the head of 
the Order was being invaded. 

Thus matters stood when delegates from six of the 
Subordinate Lodges met in Corry, Pa., December 24, 
1870, and proceeded to take preliminary steps toward the 
formation of the Grand Lodge, A. O. U. W., of Pennsyl- 
vania. ' W. W. Walker, Meadville, was elected Grand 
Master Workman; J. F. Allen, Corry, Grand Recorder; 
H. G. Pratt, Corry, Grand Receiver, and other officers 
to fill the various stations. Upchurch was not present at 
the meeting but sent notice that "if the delegation passed 
resolutions not conflicting with his authority, he would 
sanction them." No business, other than the election of 
officers, was transacted and this meeting adjourned to 
meet December 29, 1870, which meeting was designated 
as the 



At the meeting December 29, 1870, the officers elected 
at the former meeting were duly installed ; changes were 
made in the Unwritten Work ; a new password was pro- 
vided and instructions given that it was to be communi- 
cated only to such members of the Order as belonged to 
lodges that adhered to the legally constituted Grand 
Lodge and such only as subscribed to a revised Constitu- 
tion to be promulgated by an authorized committee of 
which Walker was a member. 

The annual sessions of the Grand Lodge were fixed to 
meet the second Tuesday of January and the semi-annual 
sessions were to be held in July of each and every year. 


A motion was adopted "That the emblems of this 
Order be a Protractor and Triangle, placed in a conven- 
ient position." A committee was appointed to revise the 
Ritual and prescribe the paraphernalia for the Order. 

The Recorder and Receiver were required to give 
bond for the faithful performance of their duties, in the 
sum of two thousand dollars each, but no salary was pro- 
vided for their services. 

The following action, afterward incorporated in the 
revised Constitution, is important as definitely providing 
for the organization of a Supreme body that should 
exercise authority over all Grand Lodges and thereby 
weld the Order together as a whole : 

"Moved and carried — That five Subordinate Lodges 
shall be sufficient to establish a Grand Lodge in any State 
and that three Grand Lodges shall be sufficient to estab- 
lish a Supreme Lodge, and until such Supreme Lodge is 
established, this State Grand Lodge shall act as Supreme 

Another important action was the appointing of a 
committee to procure an act from the Legislature of the 
State of Pennsylvania, incorporating the Grand Lodge. 
Mr. A. M. Martin, a member of Corry Lodge, was, at the 
time, a member of the State Legislature, and to him, in 
connection with Grand Master Workman Walker, Grand 
Receiver Pratt and J. F. Allen, was assigned the duty of 
preparing and procuring the act. 

The only reference to insurance matters that appears 
in the meager minutes of the session is the introduction 
of a resolution "That no brother be entitled to insurance 
until he receive all the degrees," which was not adopted. 


After the appointment of various committees and act- 
ing upon other matters of minor importance, the Grand 
Lodge adjourned. 

It is worthy of note here that in viewing the compo- 
sition of the Grand Lodge, that there exists evidences of 
departure from the restrictive rule, limiting membership 
to mechanics, mechanic helpers, etc., as provided in the 
Objects and Constitution, as first adopted, for among the 
members present at this first meeting of the Grand Lodge 
were two newspaper men and one lawyer. 

After the passage of a resolution directing the Grand 
Master Workman to call a special session of the Grand 
Lodge as soon as the action of the Legislature on the 
granting of a Charter was received, the Grand Lodge ad- 


The organization of a Grand Lodge in opposition to 
Upchurch and the other Provisional Grand Lodge Offi- 
cers, led immediately to a separation of the membership 
— part adhering to Upchurch and recognizing the Pro- 
visional Grand Lodge Officers as the controlling power to 
which they owed allegiance, while another part adhered 
to Walker and the newly constituted Grand Lodge. Al- 
though Walker had taken part in the organization of the 
Grand Lodge as a representative of Jefferson Lodge, the 
lodge afterwards gave its adherence to Upchurch and rec- 
ognized the authority of the Provisional Grand Lodge 
Officers. Walker, soon after the organization of the 
Grand Lodge, withdrew from Jefferson Lodge and joined 
Keystone Lodge. Franklin Lodge No. 3, as a lodge, also 


rendered allegiance to the Upchurch wing. In nearly 
every lodge there existed a division of sentiment and the 
contention between the different adherents waged with a 
zealous bitterness far removed from the brotherly in- 
junctions so forcibly imposed by the lessons and obliga- 
tions of the Order. It is difficult to determine the merit 
or demerit that should attach to either Upchurch or 
Walker, in bringing about such a rupture in the infant 
society that, for a time, gave promise of relegating it to 
the shades of oblivion. No principle of importance was 
involved in the controversy as both were in happy accord 
as to the objects to be attained. The rupture is clearly 
traceable to that ambitious desire on the part of both 
Upchurch and Walker to be the acknowledged leader of 
the organization. 

The total membership at this time did not exceed two 
hundred and fifty and was about equally divided between 
the two factions. 


On February 21, 1871, a special session of the Grand 
Lodge was held in Corry. 

The occasion of holding this special session was for 
the purpose of considering the report of the committee 
on revision of the Constitution and Laws and the com- 
mittee on new ritual and secret work which had been 
appointed at the last meeting of the Grand Lodge. 

The revision of the laws as proposed by the com- 
mittee, and which was adopted with a few minor amend- 
ments, followed closely the principles enunciated in the 
former laws but were much more full and complete in 


detail, showing a better conception of requirements nec- 
essary for practical government of the society. A tenta- 
tive "Constitution of the Supreme Lodge" was formu- 
lated to govern until such time as that body should be 
regularly formed, and until such time the State Grand 
Lodge of Pennsylvania was to act as the Supreme Lodge. 
The Supreme Lodge was to be organized as soon as 
three State Grand Lodges were instituted. 

In these new laws the "Objects" of the society as 
enunciated in the first laws adopted, were incorporated 
with a change in the first section by inserting "Work- 
ingmen" in place of "Mechanics and Mechanics' helped 
and those regularly employed in any branch of the me- 
chanical arts," and the addition of the following two 
sections : 

"9. To discountenance the introduction of all species of 
labor that may tend to injure or degrade workingmen or the 
producing classes." 

"10. To oppose monopolies of whatever kind and palpable 
favoritism whether it comes in the shape of land grants, sub- 
sidies or otherwise." 

The relative powers and functions of the Supreme 
Lodge, the Grand Lodges and Subordinate Lodges were 
set out in separate and distinct parts of the laws. The 
duties of officers of the several bodies were defined more 
specifically than in the former laws, and the official titles 
of some were slightly changed. 

The powers of the Supreme Lodge were set forth as 
follows : 

Sec. 1. The Supreme Lodge, Ancient Order of United 
Workmen, is the Supreme Power of the Order. 


Sec. 2. It is the source of all legitimate authority over 
the Order, and possesses as such, absolute power over the 
same, and all the work belonging thereto; to it belongs the 
exclusive right to establish, regulate and control the forms, 
ceremonies, written and unwritten work, and to change, 
alter, or annul the same; to provide and print all forms, cere- 
monies, cards, odes, and rituals, and to prescribe the style of 
regalia and emblems. 

Sec. 3. To it belongs the power to establish the Order in 
States, Districts, Territories or Foreign Countries, wherein 
the same has not been established; also, to enact all laws and 
regulations of general application for the government of the 

Sec. 4. To it belongs the right and power of granting 
charters or dispensations to Grand Lodges and to Subordinate 
Lodges in jurisdictions where no Grand Lodge exists. 

Under the laws governing Grand Lodges power was 
given to "have jurisdiction over Subordinate Lodges 
within the State in which the Grand Lodge was orga- 
nized." To it was given "the right and power of grant- 
ing charters, of suspending or taking away the same, up- 
on proper cause; of receiving and hearing all appeals; of 
redressing all grievances arising in the lodges under its 
jurisdiction ; of enacting laws for its government and 
support ; provided the same do not conflict with the laws 
of the Supreme Lodge." 

Subordinate Lodges were to consist of not less than 
ten members, and the qualifications and fees to be paid 
were as follows : 

Sec. 1. No person shall be admitted to membership in this 
Lodge, unless he be a white male, of the full age of twenty-one 
years, of good moral character, able and competent to earn 
a livelihood for himself and family, and a believer in a Su-- 


preme Being, the Creator and Preserver of the Universe. 
The initiation fee shall not be less than five dollars; for appli- 
cants over fifty years of age, ten dollars. 

Up to the time of the adoption of this Constitution, no 
mention in the laws or ritual had been made as to age at 
which members w r ere to be admitted other than the mini- 
mum requirement of twenty-one years. 

There existed, however, a sort of accepted under- 
standing among the membership that one over sixty years 
was not a desirable addition to the ranks, but such restric- 
tion was not an imperative one and if a particularly de- 
sirable person was proposed, this limit was no debarment. 

That it was recognized that men in the higher ages 
brought to the society an increased risk along the pro- 
tective provisions of the law, finds recognition in the fact 
that applicants over fifty years of age were required to 
pay ten dollars as an admission fee in place of five, the 
fee required of those joining under that age. The con- 
tribution, however, to the insurance fund was to be an 
equal amount for all ages. 

As special interest centers in the tracing of the evolu- 
tion of the protective or "insurance" feature of the so- 
ciety, the following amended article as adopted by the 
Grand Lodge is given in full : 

Sec. 1. Each and every member, upon attaining the third 
degree, shall pay to the F., the sum of one dollar and five 
cents for insurance ; the sum of all such payments to be known 
as the insurance fund, shall be placed in bank or other secure 
place, from which it can be drawn at sight, when called for by 
the Supreme or Grand Lodge, or the immediate necessity of 
the Subordinate Lodge, as hereinafter provided. (The extra 
five cents to be used for defraying expenses of forwarding 
the amount.) 


Sec. 2. The highest premium guaranteed by this Consti- 
tution shall not exceed the sum of two thousand dollars; and 
until such time as the above sum shall have been subscribed to 
at the rate specified in Sec. 1, the issue of insurance premiums 
shall be equal in amount, in dollars, to the actual number of 
members of the third degree; as soon as the number of mem- 
bers of the third degree shall be more than two thousand, the 
amount assessed shall be pro rata on each member to make 
up the amount of two thousand dollars. 

Sec. 3. On the death of a brother of the third degree, the 
Trustees shall draw the amount of insurance held by the 
Subordinate Lodge of which the deceased was a member, and 
pay the same immediately to his heirs. 

Should it so happen that the death of two or more brothers 
occur at the same time, the amount of the insurance fund on 
hand shall be equally divided between the heirs of each; and 
as soon thereafter as the insurance assessments shall be col- 
lected, as provided in Sec. 5, the balance to which the heirs 
are entitled shall be paid to them. 

Sec. 4. The Recorder of the Subordinate Lodge, in which 
a death may happen, shall immediately notify the Grand 
Lodge of the fact; the Grand Recorder shall notify the Su- 
preme Lodge and all Grand and Subordinate Lodges to for- 
ward the insurance fund, which he shall collect and forward 
the amount to the Receiver of the Subordinate Lodge of which 
the deceased brother was a member; and the Trustees shall 
see that the entire sum thus placed in his hands be promptly 
paid over to the heirs of deceased. 

Sec. 5. To replace the insurance fund drawn on the occa- 
sion of the death of a brother, each member shall pay to the 
F. of his respective Lodge the sum of one dollar and five cents, 
which shalL be placed as provided in Sec. 1. 

Sec. 6. Each member making application for the Third 
Degree shall be examined by a physician as to his physical 
ability, a statement of which shall be handed to the R'dr; 
and the applicant shall bear the expense of such application. 



At this meeting the Upchurch ritual was discarded 
and a new one adopted of three degrees ; designated as 
"Junior Workman, Senior Workman and Master Work- 
man degrees." 

A lodge regalia was prescribed for Subordinate 
Lodge officers, a collar and apron in pattern similar to 
that of the Masonic fraternity, with jewels indicating 
the official rank, attached to the collar and the name and 
number of the lodge on the apron ; for the members the 
apron alone. The color was to be scarlet for the collar 
and the apron white, the material of the former, velvet, 
the latter canvas or lambskin bound with scarlet. 

For Grand Lodge officers and members, the same ex- 
cept the color was blue and the apron of the same ma- 
terial as the collar. 

For the Supreme Lodge, the color was royal purple. 

The above described regalia continued in use in the 
Order with slight changes until 1879 when it was sup- 
planted by the adoption of a metal badge attached to a 
ribbon of the proper color to designate the different 


At this meeting notice was received of the passage by 
the Legislature of the State of an act incorporating the 
Grand Lodge, and a vote of thanks was given to "Brother 
Martin for his services in procuring the Charter." 

This act, approved March 9, 1871, by the Governor 
of the State, was very broad in the scope of privileges 
granted, and is considered of sufficient interest as the 


first act of like character to be granted to Fraternal Bene- 
ficiary Societies, to be quoted herein : 


To incorporate the Grand Lodge of the Ancient Order of 
United Workmen, of Pennsylvania. 

Whereas, Certain persons, citizens of Pennsylvania, Ohio 
and New York, are desirous of forming a corporation to pro- 
mote and advance scientific and mechanical pursuits in the 
said states, therefore — 

Sec. 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Repre- 
sentatives of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in General 
Assembly met, and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the 
same, That William W. Walker, R. M. Ross, Charles James, 
James Stranahan, A. Talamo, Josiah F. Allen, Horace G. 
Pratt, E. E. Stewart, Thomas Keown, H. G. Comstock, E. G. 
Stranahan, Peter Leinen and their successors, be and are here- 
by created a body politic by the name, style and title" of The 
Grand Lodge of the Ancient Order of United Workmen, of 
Pennsylvania, and by such name and title shall have perpetual 
succession, and be capable in law of suing and being sued, 
pleading and being impleaded, and of purchasing, holding, 
granting and receiving in its corporate name, property — real 
and personal, and mixed — and of instituting such Subordi- 
nate Lodges as it may see fit, under such rules, by-laws and 
regulations, as the corporation may establish, not in conflict 
with the laws of the Commonwealth. 

Sec. 2. The object of the corporation shall be to improve 
the moral, mental, and social condition of the members of 
the Lodges under its jurisdiction, and to prevent strikes 
among all classes, by exhausting all honorable means in its 
power for such an end. 

Sec. 3. The said corporation shall have a Common Seal 
for making and delivering of all legal acts and proceedings, 
the same to break or alter at pleasure. 

Sec. 4. It shall be lawful for the corporation to create, 


hold, and disburse a beneficiary fund for the relief of the 
members and their families, of the Lodges established by this 
corporation, under such regulations as may be adopted by 
the corporation: provided, that such fund shall at no time 
exceed five thousand dollars. 

Sec. 5. The said corporation may make and constitute 
for the same, such officers as it may deem necessary and 
proper, whose term of office shall expire on the second Tues- 
day of January, of each year. 

James H. Webb, 
Speaker of the House of Rep's. 
William A. Wallace, 
Speaker of the Senate. 
Approved, the ninth day of March, A. D. one thousand 
eight hundred and seventy-one. 

John W. Geary, 



The Second Annual Session of the Incorporated 
Grand Lodge, as it was designated to distinguish it from 
the Provisional Grand Lodge, which adhered to Up- 
church, met at Corry, Pa., Jan. 9, 1872. 

A semi-annual session had been held at the same 
place in July, 1871, but little business of importance was 
transacted and but little progress in extending of the 
limits of the Order had been made. 

At the annual meeting there were present represen- 
tatives from four lodges in Pennsylvania, one lodge in 
Ohio and one lodge in New York State. 

Walker still retained the position of Grand Master 
Workman and in his report noted the organization of the 
second lodge in Ohio in Cincinnati and the introduction 
of the Order in New York State by the organization of 


Jadaga Lodge at Jamestown ; another lodge had also been 
instituted in Pennsylvania at Erie, known as Rising 
Sun No. 8. 

At the Semi-annual Session a committee had been ap- 
pointed to "confer with a disaffected branch of the 
Order" and this committee reported progress, and was 
retained for further service. Thus it will be noted that 
overtures were already being made to bring about a re- 
union of the Order. 

Report was made at this meeting of the death of a 
member of Jadaga Lodge, Jamestown, N. Y. — the first 
death to occur in the Order so far as any official record 
appears. The Acting Supreme Recorder reported the 
collections for insurance on this claim as two hundred 
and sixty-five ($265.00) dollars and that this amount had 
been paid over to Mrs. Warren P. Lawson, the widow of 
the deceased brother. This amount represented the con- 
tribution from all the members adhering to the Incorpor- 
ated Grand Lodge at one dollar each, totaling two hun- 
dred and sixty-five members at this date. 

No change was made in the Insurance Article and it 
remained as hereinbefore set out. Note, however, should 
here be made of the endeavor to carry out the provision 
of the law requiring the applicant to be examined by a 
physician before being advanced to the third or Master 
Workman degree. Members were admitted to the first 
and second degrees without such examination. A blank 
form was prepared for this purpose, containing the name, 
age, occupation and residence of the applicant, with the 
statement by the physician that he had made a physical 
examination of the applicant and that he was of "sound 


bodily health/' This statement was to be filed with the 
Recorder of the lodge. 

This blank form might possibly be considered the first 
medical blank in use by Fraternal Beneficiary Societies ; 
if so, however, it fell far short in efficiency to accomplish 
the desired result. The writer hereof was admitted to the 
benefits of the Order during the time this form of medi- 
cal examination was a requirement and has full know- 
ledge of its lack as an efficient measure to accomplish 
the end desired. Most of the examinations were made in 
the ante-room of the lodge hall and consisted of the 
answering of a few questions propounded by the exam- 
iner, noting the pulse beat, a thump or two on the chest 
and signing of the blank. Superficial as this medical 
examination was, it marks the dawning of a recognition 
that physical condition was a matter to be reckoned with 
if the benefits promised were to prove permanent and 

Walker was re-elected to the office of Grand Master 
Workman, A. Timerman to that of Grand Recorder and 
other officers elected to fill the various positions for the 
ensuing year. 

The next annual meeting was to be held in Mead- 
ville, Pa. 


Soon after the adjournment of the Grand Lodge there 
was prepared and supplied to each of the Subordinate 
Lodges a book of "Policy of Insurance/' blank forms to 
be issued by the Master Workman and Recorder of the 


Subordinate Lodge to each member upon his receiving 
the third degree. 

This Beneficiary Certificate or "Policy of Insurance" 
was the first to be issued by Fraternal Benefit Societies in 
America, and its wording was as follows : 

$2,000. No 


Policy of Insurance. 

This is to Certify, That Brother 

is a Master Workman Degree Member of 

Lodge, No of , Ancient Order 

of United Workmen, and is, at the date of this Certifi- 
cate, entitled to all its rights, privileges and benefits ; and 
provided he is in good standing at his death, according 
to the rules and regulations of the Order. His Life is 
Insured By The Order, and on his decease the sum of 
Two Thousand Dollars will be paid to such person or 
persons as he may, whilst living, direct, as provided by 
the rules of the Order. And he now directs that in case 
of his death it shall be paid to 

Given under the seal of the Lodge at 

this day of . . . A , 187. . . . 

Master Workman. 


These certificates or "policies" were issued to all the 
members early in the year 1872. No record was kept 
of their issuance other than that in the Subordinate 
Lodge — the Grand Lodge being ignorant of the number 
issued or to whom. 


It will be noted that this certificate pledged the Order 
to pay full two thousand dollars on the death of the 
brother, while the laws then in force only provided for 
the payment to the heirs of the deceased brother, the 
sum of one dollar for each member in good standing at 
the date of the death of the brother. The membership 
at this time was less than two hundred and fifty and 
consequently the promises put forth in the certificate 
could not be fulfilled, under the law. This matter be- 
came of importance as will be noted further on. 


The Upchurch wing of the Order, after the separa- 
tion, became known as the "Unincorporated Grand 
Lodge" and its third meeting was held in Meadville, Pa., 
Feb. 6-7, 1 871. 

Immediately following the organization of the Grand 
Lodge of the Walker wing and the application to the 
State Legislature for an Act of Incorporation, the Pro- 
visional Grand Lodge officers had prepared a form of 
charter for the Grand Lodge which they had lithographed 
and copyrighted ; the intention being to preclude the 
using of the name "Ancient Order of United Workmen" 
by the other Grand Lodge. 

As this copyrighted charter was contended by the 
Upchurch branch of the Order, as establishing their right 
to the name "Ancient Order of United Workmen," and 
also as emphasizing what has heretofore been said as to 
the main and controlling purpose of the Order, it is 
inserted in full as follows : 


Ancient Order of United Workmen. 

By Authority of the 
Grand Lodge of the United States. 

Know all Men by these Presents, That the Grand Lodge of 

the State of of the Ancient Order of United 

Workmen, do, by these presents, authorize and empower 
and their legally elected successors, to con- 
stitute a Lodge, to be known as of the 

Ancient Order of United Workmen, to be located in the 

in the State of for the 

purpose of more closely uniting the various branches of the 
Mechanical and Scientific Arts; the said Lodge being duly 
organized, is hereby authorized and empowered to initiate into 
said Lodge any person or persons, duly proposed, approved 
and elected, according to the Constitution adopted and set 
forth by the Grand Lodge, for the government of Subordinate 
Lodges, and to enact a code of By-Laws for government of the 
same, Provided Always, that the said Lodge conform to the 
Constitution, Rules and Usages as set forth by the Grand 
Lodge, and Provided also, that the said Lodge be held in the 
..and State aforesaid, and not to be re- 
moved therefrom without the knowledge and consent of the 
Grand Lodge of the State aforesaid. In default thereof, this 
charter, with all books, papers, money and property, real and 
personal, whatsoever, shall be delivered to the Grand Lodge, 
or its Deputy, for said district, for the benefit and use of the 
said Grand Lodge. 

Given under our hands, and having the seal of the Grand 

Lodge attached, this day of A. D. 18 

G. M. W. 

G. R'vr G. R'dr. 

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1871, by 
J. J. Upchurch, J. O. Rockwell and Robert Grieves, in trust 
for the Provisional Grand Lodge of the A. O. U. W. of the 
United States, in the Copyright Office, Library of Congress, 
Washington, D. C. 


The meeting February, 1871, included delegates from 
all of the lodges that adhered to Upchurch and no doubt 
these delegates were elected with his full consent and 
direction as Provisional Grand Master Workman. Up- 
church was still a resident of Levittsburg, Ohio, at which 
place he had organized a small lodge among the railroad 
men, but retained his membership in Jefferson Lodge. 
This lodge had but short life and went out of existence 
soon after Upchurch left the place, the latter part of 
1872, at which time he returned to Meadville. 

Up to the time of the meeting, February, 1871, the 
Provisional Grand Lodge, with Upchurch at its head, 
exercised control as the acting Supreme Lodge with ap- 
parently no other authorization than that which it had 
originally received from Jefferson Lodge when it was 
first called into being. This meeting of the Grand Lodge 
was, therefore, the first meeting of the Unincorporated 
Grand Lodge wherein delegates duly elected were ad- 
mitted and the Grand Lodge formally instituted as a 
representative body. 

The Provisional Grand Lodge officers were super- 
seded by those elected by the representatives, J. J. Rock- 
well, Franklin, Pa., being chosen Grand Master Work- 
man. Provision was made for a Grand Executive Com- 
mittee and authority was given it to act as Provisional 
Grand Lodge of the United States. Upchurch was made 
chairman of this committee. In this committee was 
vested the prerogative of legislative and executive con- 
trol of the Order, making the Grand Lodges subservient 
thereto until such time as the authority of the commit- 


tee was supplanted by the organization of a Supreme 

Xo other changes in the laws were made of sufficient 
importance to be noted here, the Grand Lodge approving 
those previously in force under the Provisional Grand 

The Upchurch ritual and secret work were retained. 

The second annual meeting of the Unincorporated 
Grand Lodge was held in Meadville February, 1872, at 
which time Joseph Morehead was elected Grand Master 
Workman. Several lodges had been organized during 
the past year in Pennsylvania and one in the State of 
Iowa, located at Washington, la., and organized Janu- 
ary. 1872, by S. B. [Montgomery, a member of Jefferson 
Lodge Xo. 1, and an associate of Upchurch and Walker 
in the railroad shops at Meadville and who had moved 
to Iowa. Upchurch still retained the position as chair- 
man of the Grand Executive Committee. Xo important 
legislation was enacted at this meeting, and no change 
in the laws of moment had been promulgated from the 
Grand Executive Committee. X^o death, so far as the 
writer is informed, had occurred during the year in this 
branch of the Order. 

The meeting adjourned to meet at Franklin, Pa., 
July, 1872. 

The Semi- Annual Meeting, 1872, is of special im- 
portance in that at this meeting report was made of a 
convention held at Meadville between representatives 
from each of the opposing Grand Lodges. 

The Grand Recorder, W. S. Black, reported the pro- 
ceedings of the convention from which it appears that a 


resolution was adopted providing for a union of the two 
bodies representing the Order. This resolution was to be 
submitted to each of the Grand Lodges for ratification 
and if approved, the Order was again to be united. The 
Incorporated Grand Lodge had in the meantime met and 
rejected the proposal as set forth in the resolution of the 
convention. No further efforts were made toward recon- 
ciliation of the contending factions, and by vote the 
"question of union was indefinitely postponed." 

Since the separation, December, 1870, there had been 
instituted under the control of the Unincorporated Grand 
Lodge, five lodges in Pennsylvania and one in Ohio, mak- 
ing in all seven subordinate lodges with a membership of 
about three hundred. 

Note is here made of the introduction of one in the 
Order whose subsequent labors and ability was of marked 
account, especially in the earlier periods of the Society's 
history — Joseph M. McNair, New Castle, Pa. He was 
an enthusiastic friend and supporter of Father Upchurch 
and we are indebted to him for the preservation of much 
of the data from which these notes of the first five years 
of the history of the Order are gathered. He was present 
at this Semi-Annual Meeting as a representative of the 
lodge lately organized at New Castle, Pa., and took an 
active part in its deliberations. 

Up to this time, no odes had been adopted for the 
opening or closing of the lodge or for use in conferring of 
degrees. Brother McNair presented for each of these 
purposes, an original ode which was adopted — several of 
which are still in use in the Order. His name will appear 
in prominent positions as this history advances. 



The only reference made in the meager minutes of 
this meeting as to insurance matters was the approval of 
an "Insurance Book specially designed for insurance 
accounts in lodges." 

The Grand Lodge adjourned to meet in New Castle 
January, 1873. 


The period covered from July, 1872, to January, 1873, 
inclusive, forms an important era in the history of the 
Ancient Order of United Workmen and incidentally, 
that of the Fraternal Beneficiary Societies in this country. 
It marks the point of divergence from the original con- 
trolling object, Upchurch, Walker and their co-fratern- 
ists had in mind in organizing and building up of the 
Order. It is the time at which a well defined change took 
place, wherein the protection feature, which up to this 
time had been second and of minor account and consider- 
ation, was to assumes the leading place and become hence- 
forth, the controlling factor of the organization — elim- 
inating within a short space of time the main purposes, 
for which both leaders had so ardently contended. To 
harmonize the conflict between capital and labor, through 
the medium of lodge affiliation, wherein a co-operative 
spirit of brotherly care and helpfulness could be gener- 
ated and wherein fancied or real wrongs on either side 
could be discussed and adjusted was not only the primal 
purpose but was that which thus far had been the im- 
portant and main object to be accomplished. The insur- 
ance feature, at first incidental, had remained up to this 
time, secondary in importance and was not put forth as 


a primary inducement in gathering adherents to the 
Order. This condition was about to be changed and the 
above noted date marks the time at which a change took 
place that may properly be stated as the starting point of 
Fraternal Beneficiary Societies, as they hare developed 
and as they are known today. 

Upchurch viewed with great regret the change of di- 
rection towards which the policy of the Order was 
tending. It grieved his spirit to see the child of his brain 
departing from the pathway he had marked out with such 
care, study and devotion. He could not feel in accord 
with the growing tendency of diminishing interest in 
what he considered the most important feature of the 

Walker, however, while adhering tenaciously to the 
views of Upchurch, did not have the same deep regret in 
noting the change of policy from its original intent and 
more readily gave his adherence to the force that was 
soon to control the Order. 

The condition of the Order at the beginning of this 
period, July, 1872, was about as follows: Under the In- 
corporated Grand Lodge there were five lodges in Penn- 
sylvania, two in Ohio and one in Xew York, with a total 
membership of about two hundred and fifty. Under the 
Unincorporated Grand Lodge there were seven lodges in 
Pennsylvania and one in Ohio, with a total membership 
of about three hundred. 

The Order had been in existence for four years and 
its membership consisted almost entirely of railroad and 
other mechanics and laboring men in other avocations of 
life; very few merchants, manufacturers or professional 


men were to be found affiliated therewith. The dissen- 
sions in the Order caused by the separation had retarded 
the growth and while a few of the lodges were enjoying 
a fair degree of prosperity, the majority, especially the 
old lodges, were inactive and decreasing in numbers. 
Jefferson Lodge, that at one time had nearly one hundred 
and fifty members, had been reduced to less than fifty at 
this date. Thus matters stood when the change, as above 
forecasted, gathered a more active force than had there- 
tofore been displayed, by the introduction of one in the 
Order whose name is little known, but who, at this par- 
ticular time, proved a factor of developing energy that 
had much to do with the future of the Order. 


Dr. James M. Bunn, a resident physician of New 
Washington, a small town in the central western part of 
Pennsylvania, had by some means, come in possession of 
a Constitution of the Incorporated Grand Lodge, and be- 
came interested and entered into correspondence with 
Grand Master Workman Walker, relative to the organi- 
zation of a lodge in the city of his residence, and agreed 
if succesful there to enter the field as an organizer. He 
was duly commissioned to organize the lodge at New 
Washington and in a short space of time the lodge was 
instituted. He soon after visited Meadville and received 
a commission from Walker as Grand Deputy for the pro- 
pagation of the Order. Very favorable financial con- 
siderations were given him in the way of commissions for 
each lodge organized — the Grand Lodge receiving only a 
small fee for charter, rituals and odes. Dr. Bunn was 


authorized to personally pass upon the physical condi- 
tion of applicants, using the blank heretofore referred to, 
stating that he had made the examination and that the 
applicant was of "sound bodily health. " He was given 
full authority to contract for and furnish lodges with 
paraphernalia, consisting of collars and aprons for the 
officers and members and a set of mechanical tools used 
by the lodge in conferring degrees, and such record books 
as were needed. The price for organizing, including the 
above, was one hundred and fifty dollars for each lodge, 
exception being made in a few instances where full sup- 
plies were not provided. 

It is essential here to state that Dr. Bunn was not 
interested, to any great extent, in the Upchurch and 
Walker idea of a co-operative labor society, but he saw 
the possibility of interesting men in all vocations, in the 
matter of insuring their lives for the benefit of their 
families. He was also not averse to reaping the financial 
gain that might result, providing the movement would be 
successful. He possessed qualifications that admirably 
fitted him for the position of organizer — pleasing in per- 
son, well educated, a good conversationalist, energetic, 
persistent and convincing, and a Past Master of the Ma- 
sonic fraternity. 


The writer in following the history of the early days 
of the Ancient Order of United Workmen, has arrived 
at the period when he became personally connected with 
the Order and with no desire to give undue prominence 
to his work in advancing its interests, he has found it 

72 • 


more convenient in making references to himself, to do 
so in the first person, rather than as "the writer" or other- 
wise. This, therefore, must be his excuse for what some 
may consider an effort to render self more prominent 
than modesty would suggest. 

For about eight years prior to the organization of 
Jefferson Lodge I had been a resident of Meadville, Pa., 
being engaged at that time in the mercantile business. It 
is possible I may have had knowledge at that time of the 
existence of the A. O. U. W. lodges but if so, it has now 
passed out of my memory and my recollection of my first 
acquaintance with the existence of the Order was in July, 
1872, at which time I was a resident of Pittsburgh, Pa., 
having removed my business to that city in the Fall of 


In July, 1872, Dr. Bunn, having received a commis- 
sion from Grand Master Workman Walker, as Deputy 
Grand Master Workman of Pennsylvania, came to Pitts- 
burgh with a letter of introduction and recommendation 
to me from Walker. He was persistent that I become 
interested ; presented me with a copy of the Constitution 
and Laws and informed me that the Order numbered over 
two thousand members and was paying the full two thous- 
and dollars on each death that occurred therein. I took 
the matter under advisement and made a careful study of 
the objects and laws as presented and while I was not 
deeply impressed with the central and so far, controlling 
objects as set forth, I was impressed with the possibilities 
for good that might be attained through the protective 


or insurance features. As a business man, I recognized 
the inadequate provisions thus far in force to success- 
fully carry forward this part of the Order's design. 
However, it seemed to me that contained therein was the 
germ of a great thought and that if correct business prin- 
ciples could be applied and proper safeguards thrown 
around accessions thereto, a great work could be accom- 
plished for humanity, in the protection of the home and 
the relief of the widows and orphans of the members. 

Life insurance, as conducted by the-companies then in 
existence, had not as I have heretofore indicated, reached 
down and attracted the attention and gathered the adher- 
ence of those who were dependent on daily toil for the 
care of home and family. In a large measure, it was 
looked upon as speculation, more or less uncertain, expen- 
sive and beyond the ability of the ordinary wage earner 
to procure and support. 

The thought was prominent in my mind, "if Life In- 
surance Companies can make large profits from the insur- 
ance of lives, why cannot the people, if equal care in 
selection be had and equal business acumen employed, in- 
sure themselves by co-operative means, thus bringing its 
benefits within their reach?" 

Up to that time I had never been associated with any 
secret society but had no prejudices in that direction to 
be overcome. I recognized the benefit to be derived 
from binding the membership of the society under solemn 
obligations, to be faithful to the carrying out of the ob- 
jects, — that the portals would be better guarded by clos- 
ing the door to the outside world and admitting only 
those who, after due examination might be found worthy ; 


that thus exclusive, a spirit of unselfish brotherhood 
would be generated and a bond of union result that would 
extend not only to the protection of the home but would 
excite into activity a personal interest, one with another, 
that would be helpful in intellectual, social and moral 

In short, I became deeply interested and enthusiasti- 
cally gave my support to Dr. Bunn and aided him ma- 
terially in securing sufficient names among my friends to 
organize the first lodge in Pittsburgh. This lodge was 
known as Pittsburgh Lodge No. 20, and was largely 
composed of merchants and their employees in and near 
the vicinity to my place of business. They were all, or 
nearly all, obtained by my personal solicitation or en- 
dorsement. The number "twenty" given to the lodge, in- 
dicated that there were in existence at that time, nineteen 
other lodges connected with the Incorporated Grand 
Lodge, while in fact, as before mentioned, there were 
only eight. This incorrect impression lent credence to 
the statement that the membership was over two thous- 
and and that the protection in the Order was fully assured 
to the full amount of two thousand dollars on each death 

Pittsburgh Lodge No. 20 was instituted July 17, 
1872, six days after the arrival of Dr. Bunn in the city. 

In view of the fact that the introduction of the Order 
in Pittsburgh and vicinity constituted a notable era in the 
history of the society, it will be of interest to follow the 
success of the efforts of Dr. Bunn and others who lent 
him aid in propogating the work in that section for a 
short time after the first lodge had been instituted. In 


this we are greatly favored by having a somewhat de- 
tailed report made by Dr. Bunn to the Grand Master 
Workman, prior to the annual meeting of the Grand 
Lodge, January 14, 1873. -The report in full is as 
follows : 

Wm. W. Walker, G. M. W., A. O. U. W. of Pa. 

Dear Sir and Bro.: — On July 11th, 1872, I received a com- 
mission from you as D. G. M. W., of Penna., and jurisdiction, 
belonging thereto. I went to work immediately. 

On the 17th of July I constituted Pittsburg Lodge No. 20, 
composed of good No. 1 men, some of whoni will be at the 
present session. Bro. D. G. McMillin was elected and installed 
M. W. and Bro. Louis Shaler, Recorder. This lodge was fur- 
nished with Regalia and Tools at a charge of $100. I sent 
to Cincinnati for their Regalia and received an incomplete 
set at what I considered a big price. 

July 24th, Indiana Lodge No. 21, Indiana, Pa., was con- 
stituted. Bro. Samuel Smith was elected M. W. and A. J. 
Hamilton, Recorder. I have since visited them and find them 
getting along very well. 

August 5th, Robert Blum Lodge No. 22, Pittsburg, Pa., 
was constituted. Bro. John M. Scott was elected M. W. and 
C. F. Geofe, Recorder. They are working slow but sure. 

August 6th, Robeson Lodge No. 23, Pittsburg, Pa., was con- 
stituted. Wm. Robeson was elected M. W. and Geo. Murcot, 

August 16th, Iron City Lodge No. 24, Pittsburgh, Pa., was 
constituted. James Petrie was elected M. W. and Robt. 
Graham, Recorder. 

August 17th, Industry Lodge No. 25, Pittsburg, Pa., was 
constituted. Wm. Gold was elected M. W. and S. M. Gris, 

I then took a trip to Philadelphia and worked there for 
several days — started several applications but did not succeed 

• 76 

in effecting an organization — returned to Pittsburg and on 
Sep. 5th, constituted Manchester Lodge No. 26, Pittsburg, Pa. 
J. Chadwick was elected M. W. and J. C. Harper, Recorder. 
This Lodge was furnished with Regalia, Stationery, Seal 
and Tools, at $130 — all the others above were furnished with 
Regalia and Tools at a cost of $100 each. 

I then went to work and through the valuable assistance 
of D. D. G. M. W., Bro. Sackett, constituted Liberty Lodge 
No. 27, Pittsburg, Pa., on Sep. 9th. M. W. Sackett was elected 
M. W. and C. H. Bradley, Recorder. I used my last charter 
and set of works at that lodge. I had been writing for some 
weeks and could hear nothing, and on 10th of Sep. started to 
Corry — from there to Spartansburg, and when I reached 
there I found a package had been expressed to me the day 
before. I had written to Bros. H. G. Pratt, A. M. Martin and 
yourself as well as several letters to G. W. R. I paid you a 
visit and you promised the matter should not again occur 
and you have faithfully kept your word. 

I went from Meadville to Oil City and from there I went 
off the R. R. and left several applications but failed to get 
the required number of applicants to constitute a Lodge — re- 
turned to Pittsburg and from there went to Beaver Falls 
which place I had canvassed sometime before and left with 
bright prospects of success. Upon my return to Beaver Falls, 
I constituted Mechanics Lodge No. 28. O. J. Noble was elected 
M. W. and H. Ecard, Recorder. I learn the lodge is pro- 
gressing finely. 

I went from there up the F. W. & C. R. R. and I found 
the other wing of the Order had a foothold at New Castle 
and Sharon and were not in a very healthy condition. I 
learned also t^ey were trying to get a foothold in the borders 
of Ohio. I immediately notified G. M. W. Bro. Bechtol and 
went to Wellsville. Ohio, and found they had been making 
strong efforts there. After some time I received a commission 
from Bro. Bechtol, and then went boldly to work. 

I returned to Pittsburg and constituted Good Intent 
Lodge No. 29, Pittsburg, Sep. 30th. David Hughes was elected 


M. W. and Jas. E. Harris, Recorder. I charged them $150, for 
which they were furnished with Regalia, Tools, all Stationery, 
Withdrawal Cards, Policies, Seal, Ballot Box, Ballots, Gavel 
and 200 copies Constitution and Laws. 

I paid a visit to Latrobe and after succeeding in obtaining 
the requisite number of charter applicants, I appointed a 
meeting for that evening and having neglected to bring my 
Commission with me, my authority was honestly questioned 
and it proved a failure. I returned there with my credentials 
•on Oct. 2d. and succeeded in establishing a good organization. 
I. D. Pores was elected M. W. and John Smith, Recorder. 

I then visited Lancaster — worked there some days — failed 
to get an organization — went from there to Marietta, meet- 
ing with same success — came to Huntingdon, where I had sent 
an application — tried there without success — became discour- 
aged — and went home with a much lighter pocket book than 
when I started. Stayed at home two nights and one day 
and started again. Went to Tyrone where I had previously 
left an application. The principal trouble appeared to be a 
want of knowledge. I tried to enlighten them but they would 
not listen. I went from there to Williamsport and canvassed 
the whole town for a few days, but it unfortunately happened 
about the time the Working Men's Union had a strike and 
some persons thought this Order had something to do with it; 
and I afterwards concluded I ought to be thankful for having 
got off with my life. I went back to Lock Haven — worked 
there a while and failed to complete an organization. 

I again went home, and went from there to Cherry Tree, 
on Oct. 19th and on Oct. 22d., constituted Susquehanna Lodge 
No. 31. John Eason was elected M. W. and Peter J. Striffler, 
Recorder. I went from there to Cookport Lodge No. 32. Dr. 
.A. H. Allison was elected M. W. and D. M. Courath, Recorder. 

I then started to Marion and through the assistance of a 
good brother of another Order, got the requisite number of 
charter applicants and constituted Marion Lodge Oct. 30th. 

Went home and found a letter from R. M. J. Reed, of Phila- 
delphia, stating that he thought if I would come on, I could 


effect an organization. I started immediately. When I ar- 
rived there I learned he was ill and could render me no 
assistance and all the efforts I could command seemed to fail 
of success. 

I went from there to Danville and worked there some days 
without effecting anything — went from there to Pittsburg 
where at my last visit I had left an application for Allegheny 
Lodge. Found they were progressing finely. Went on to 
Wellsville, O., and on Nov. 18th constituted Hope Lodge No. 6, 
of Ohio. R. Hirsh was elected M. W. and T. L. Apple, 

Returned to Pittsburg and on Nov. 20th constituted Alle- 
gheny Lodge No. 34, Pittsburg, Pa. A. N. Hutchison was 
elected M. W. and D. S. Simpson, Recorder. 

Started from there to Meadville and with your valuable 
assistance, succeeded in getting up Star Lodge No. 35, on Nov. 
25. C. R. Marsh was elected M. W. and Dr. G. Elliott, Re- 

Went from there to Pittsburg — then home — remained there 
two days and started out through the rural districts where I 
had sent some applications. Heard that I could likely get up 
an application at Punxsutawney — spent some days there with- 
out succeeding — left there and visited other small towns with 
no better success — returned to Pittsburg and on Dec. 12 con- 
stituted Excelsior Lodge No. 36, Pittsburg, Pa. T. B. Keller 
was elected M. W. and Geo. Fox, Recorder. 

Pride of the West Lodge No. 37 was constituted Dec. 18th, 
in Allegheny, Pa. J. H. Grub was elected M. W. and Jos. 
Oxly, Recorder. 

I started from there to Blairsville, Bro. P. M. W. John Wier 
having thought that a good place for getting up a Lodge 
When I got there I found they were about getting up a Council 
of American Mechanics which they have since effected. On 
that account I failed. 

I then returned to Pittsburg. On Dec. 28th, Star of the 
W T est, Pittsburg, Pa., was constituted. Thos. Jones was elected 
M. W. and Wm. Shaw, Recorder. On Dec. 23d. Humboldt 

Lodge, Pittsburg, was constituted. Edward Zarnicki was 
elected M. W. and Peter Herds, Recorder. 

I went from Pittsburg to Kittanning and I failed in get- 
ting up a Lodge there. 

I returned to Pittsburg and with the valuable assistance of 
D. D. G. M. W., Bro. Sackett, and other brothers who worked 
with me faithfully, we succeeded in getting up an application 
for Bethel Lodge No. 40, Pittsburg, which was constituted 
Jan. 8th, 1873. J. W. Craig was elected M. W. and G. W. 
Cougill, Recorder. 

On Jan. 11th, Monongahela Lodge No. 41, Pittsburg, Pa., 
was constituted. O. K. Gardner, M. W. and J. A. McKean, 

On Jan. 13th, Corry Lodge No. 42 was constituted at 
Corry, Erie Co. Wm. A. Jordon was elected M. W. and C. S. 
Tinker, Recorder. 

During the term I have written over one hundred letters 
and have sent off over three hundred Constitutions and blank 
applications. I have been enabled to carry out the instructions 
of the Acting Supreme Lodge in regard to Outfits — have suc- 
ceeded in getting a uniformity of work and, let me say that 
our Noble Order owes its rapid progress, in a great measure, 
to our worthy D. D. G. M. W., Bro. Sackett, who has been 
untiring in his efforts to advance its interests, in many 
instances encroaching on his own convenience and time that 
the Order might profit thereby, and I think the members of 
Pittsburg and Allegheny will heartily endorse my statement 
and agree with me. He should receive the sincere thanks of 
the G. L. for his valuable services. I am sorry to find since 
coming to Meadville that there are some dissatisfied Bros, 
who seem to think your provisions and instructions in regard 
to outfits have not been in accordance with their ideas. They 
could have better suggested and carried out the entire pro- 
gramme than it has been done. I should feel sorry if any of 
the previous arrangements were tampered with for all must 
admit that the present arrangements have proved far superior 
to any that have been heretofore inaugurated. 


When I received your commission, I was laboring under the 
impression that the numerical strength of our Noble Order 
amounted to 4,700, which information I received from a 
Brother who is absent from this session. I went to work with 
a good heart and a zeal which I felt, feeling satisfied that it 
was the best Order upon the face of the earth — one that will 
enable a man to meet the pale-faced monster with calmness 
and serenity, when he knows in any event his family is 
lifted beyond the cold charity of the world. I remained in 
ignorance of our strength until after the first death occurred, 
and when I look back upon our Order as it was and now look 
upon it as it is, I thank God from the bottom of my heart 
that I was ignorant for we are now out of the co-operative 
system and in the pro rata, and our amounts to be paid at 
each assessment will be rapidly decreasing and in a few 
years we will hold the proudest place upon God's broad earth 
as a beneficial society. Thousands yet unborn will be taught 
by their mothers to bless and pray for us who have struggled 
through its dark days of adversity and been instrumental in 
bringing about the event of prosperity. 

All that is required for us to do is to work for its advance- 
ment and prosperity. Beyond our greatest hopes will be our 

I would suggest that more D. Deputies be put in the field 
and use all efforts to advance the Order. Every town in the 
State should be canvassed and every city should have its 
Deputy and we would soon become a power to be feared by 
monopolies, and we would hail with joy the dawning of the 
day that would proclaim labor equal to capital. 

In regard to fifty sets of tools ordered, twenty-five sets 
have been finished and are ready for shipping at any time. 

Of the pins, I have had one hundred made, and as you 
suggested have made arrangements for having the design 
patented — a suggestion which I heartily approved. 

And in conclusion I would say that I feel satisfied that our 
Noble Order is on a firm basis which is as immovable as a rock, 


and which must in time become the greatest success the world 
ever knew anything about. 

Yours Fraternally, 

Jas. M. Bunn, D. G. M. W. 

Of the twenty-three lodges mentioned in the report 
of Dr. Bunn, fifteen were located in Pittsburgh and Alle- 
gheny (now a part of Pittsburgh) cities, seven were in 
different sections of the State and one in Ohio. This 
work had been done within the space of a little more than 
six months by Dr. Bunn, assisted in Pittsburgh and near- 
by points by myself and others who gave him enthusiastic 

The fifteen lodges in Pittsburgh numbered in mem- 
bership at this time more than five hundred and were 
constantly adding new members thereto. 

It may be a matter of surprise to some, the rapid suc- 
cess that attended the introduction of the Order in Pitts- 
burgh and other points where its claims for recognition 
were presented. As we have already indicated, the time 
seemed opportune for the propagation of such a society — 
it was a new thought injected into fraternal fellowships 
as they existed at that time. It was a practical and sys- 
tematic application of co-operative helpfulness that ap- 
plied not only to the member himself but reached out and 
followed his loved ones when his care was removed by 
death. It must be remembered that at this time only 
such societies as the Masons, Odd Fellows, Knights of 
Pythias, Red Men and some few others of like character, 
were in existence, none of which sought other than to 
minister to the social and moral welfare of its members 
and to assist when temporary discouragements and want 


might call for aid. No society had, as yet, conceived the 
idea of joining the high design of fraternity with a prac- 
tical system of co-operation that should extend to the 
widows and orphans, in such measure as would insure 
them against want when their main support was removed. 
The avenue to such protection was a closed one to the 
great majority on account of the financial requirements 
then imposed by the speculative Life Insurance Com- 
panies. It was, therefore, comparatively easy to interest 
men and gain their adherence to a society that gave 
promise of filling this great want. 

The question of rates and mortality tables entered but 
little, if at all, in the work of recruiting membership in 
the Order. The motive power was expressed in the 
building of a fraternity possessing the lofty aims of those 
then in existence but with the added feature of a co- 
operative protection definite in a measure, sufficient to 
secure to the modest home a competency when death 
would enter its portals and remove the main support. 
This joining of fraternity with co-operative financial help- 
fulness, arrested attention and gathered adherents with 
little effort. The essential question to be answered was 
as to the integrity of purpose of those who Were con- 
ducting its affairs ; were they honest and reliable and 
were the dollars contributed, carried with speed and at 
the minimum of expense to the fulfillment of the pur- 
pose designed? With emphasis placed on the fraternal 
fellowship and the personal good flowing therefrom, 
members were not troubled with the problems of actu- 
arial science of Life Insurance ; they were willing and 
anxious to contribute their dollar when called upon, in- 


spired by the unselfish desire to have their part in a 
grand and noble act of co-operative charity. True, self 
motive was not entirely eliminated, for that which they 
cheerfully did for others, they in turn, trusted would be 
done for their dependents when occasion called for 

As I look back and review these pioneer days, so 
full of zealous enthusiasm, so permeated by a spirit of 
generous helpfulness, so fully merging the thought of 
self in that broader and more commendable one of how 
to labor and how best to serve the interest and welfare 
of a brother fraternalist, I deplore the loss in these latter 
days of much of this spirit of devotedness ; the waning of 
unselfish interest and the injecting in their place of an 
undue amount of that which Father Boynton, of glorious 
memory, denominated "Commercialism. " 


While there existed a large degree of enthusiastic in- 
terest in the lodges in Pittsburgh and vicinity and con- 
stant accessions to membership were being had, there 
soon became apparent a feeling of distrust of the state- 
ments made by Dr. Bunn as to the numerical strength of 
the Order. This distrust was emphasized by the fact that 
Dr. Bunn when organizing the lodges, had promised to 
visit them from time to time and perfect them in the secret 
work and give added instructions to the officers in keep- 
ing accounts, etc. This he failed to do and after insti- 
tuting the lodge and receiving the pay therefor, his in- 
terest seemed to wane. Further than this, the discon- 
tent was increased by the fact that communications to 


the Grand officers brought either no replies or unsatis- 
factory ones. A feeling of suspicion arose that gave 
promise, if not checked, to culminate in the downfall of 
the organization in this section. The replies received 
to my personal communications to the Grand Master 
Workman were unsatisfactory and as I had been instru- 
mental in introducing the Order in Pittsburg, having 
given it my endorsement and furthermore feeling a deep 
anxiety for its success, I considered it incumbent upon 
myself to make a personal investigation as to all mat- 
ters connected with the society. To carry out this pur- 
pose, I went to Meadville and interviewed Walker. I 
found, as heretofore stated, that outside of the lodges in 
Pittsburg and vicinity, including those organized by Dr. 
Bunn elsewhere, there were only in the incorporated 
Grand Lodge, eight small lodges with less than two hun- 
dred and fifty members and that a number of these lodges 
were inactive and losing members. I also found that 
there was no record in the Grand Lodge office of the 
members and no record of the amount collected on the 
death of a Brother, named Allen, who had died since 
July 1872, and other loose and imperfect conditions. 

The disclosure of this investigation was very un- 
satisfactory and discouraging, when viewed in connection 
with the statments made by Dr. Bunn and I felt certain 
that a disclosure of the true condition of the Order to 
the lodges in Pittsburg would at once result in their 

Walker assured me that he had not been a party to 
the deception and deplored the unfortunate statements 
made by which the members in the new lodges had been 


induced to join. I felt confident that if I returned to 
Pittsburg and revealed the true condition of the Order, 
it would likely result in a rapid disintegration of the 
lodges. I, therefore, determined not to disclose the re- 
sult of my investigation but to personally take charge 
of the lodges in the Pittsburg district, encourage them 
to continue active work and so far as possible, remove 
suspicion and distrust of the executive officers of the 
Grand Lodge. To this end I took a commission as Dis- 
trict Deputy Grand Master Workman and entered ac- 
tively into the work of restoring confidence among the 
membership oi the lodges. I felt that I was justified in 
remaining silent as to the true condition, feeling assured 
that if the work could be continued until the annual meet- 
ing of the Grand Lodge, which was to occur in the space 
of a few months, the representation from the Pittsburg 
District would be sufficiently large to control the situa- 
tion and virtually re-organize the society on more 
effiicicent and practical lines. 

I recall that within the month following my return 
from Meadville, I made forty-six visitations to the lodges 
in the district and as far as was in my power, labored 
to dispel suspicion, encouraged activity in recruiting- 
membership and gave such instructions in the Secret 
Work and lodge activities as would maintain and hold 
the interest of the membership. My efforts met with 
success and all of the lodges continued in a prosperous 
condition up to the time of the meeting of the Grand 
Lodge January 14, 1873. 



The Third Annual Session of the Grand Lodge was 
held in Meadville, January 14-16, 1873. This meeting was 
an important one as upon the legislation enacted at this 
time depended largely the future existence of the society. 
Effort had been resumed shortly before the Grand Lodge 
meeting to bring about a meeting of the two Grand Lodge 
Executive Officers to be present at this time and, if possi- 
ble, arrange terms of union of the two bodies. Further, 
the representatives from Pittsburg and vicinity were to 
have the opportunity to examine and ascertain the exact 
condition of the Order about which more or less of a 
feeling of suspicion and anxiety had existed. 

At this time two representatives to the Grand Lodge 
were allowed for each Subordinate Lodge. There were 
tw r enty-one lodges in Pittsburg and vicinity and forty- 
two representatives were present at the meeting from 
the new lodges instituted by Dr. Bunn. A special car filled 
with representatives and other brethren arrived in Mead- 
ville on the morning of the 14th from Pittsburg and were 
at once escorted to the lodge room where the Grand 
Lodge was in session. No enlightenment had been given 
other than that received from Dr. Bunn as to the num- 
ber of lodge representatives expected to greet the 
new delegates upon their introduction to the Grand Lodge 
and none but myself knew how small this number would 

The personnel of the delegates from the new lodges 
was of high standing and included professional men, 
merchants, clerks, mechanics and day laborers of the bet- 


ter class. A goodly number were members of the Mason- 
ic and other Fraternal societies. 

The preliminaries to introduction having been ac- 
complished the new delegates were admitted to the Grand 
Lodge. It may be imagined that this particular moment 
was one of anxiety and nervous strain on my part, as I 
was not at all certain that I would be justified in having 
withheld information from the membership as to the true 
condition of the Order. I recall, as we entered in double 
file, myself leading with one John Rebman, who at that 
time was Grand Sachem of the Red Men of Pennsyl- 
vania, and had proceeded part way across the hall, when 
suddenly he stopped the procession, and looking around, 
exclaimed in a loud and excited voice "Great God, 
Sackett, is this all there is of it?" I urged him forward 
and in due form the delegates were instructed into the 
mysteries of the Grand Lodge Degree and seated as ac- 
credited representatives. 

Equal surprise to that voiced by Brother Rebman, 
was apparent on the part of the other representatives ; 
while they had expected to be met and welcomed by, at 
least an equal number of delegates as themselves there 
were only five present — not enough to fill the different offi- 
ces. Brother Walker occupied the chair of Grand Master 
Workman, W. H. Comstock that of Past Grand Master 
Workman, Dr. Bunn that of Grand Foreman, H. G. 
Pratt that of Grand Receiver and O. M. Barnes that of 
Grand Inside and Outside Watchman. No others were 
present. Grand Recorder, A. Timerman, had died short- 
ly before the meeting of the Grand Lodge, which left a 
vacancy in that office and immediately after the seating 

of the delegates I was appointed to fill that position. 
After assuming that position, I arose to give a personal 
explanation as to the deception I had allowed to pre- 
vail, after full knowledge as to the true condition of the 
Order became known to me. The reasons that had in- 
duced my silence, as hereinbefore given, were fully set 
forth and the sentiment expressed, that culpable as I 
might have been, it was overbalanced by the favorable 
condition in which we were at the present time placed. 
That the Order had now reached such proportions, had 
so varied and broadened its original purpose by making 
the protective feature the paramount issue of its existence 
— that its cordial reception by those to whom its merits 
were presented and their ready co-operation gave great 
encouragement for success, and that what now was 
required was legislation that would systematize and per- 
fect its business operations and more securely guard the 
entrance thereto. 

The fact was emphasized that on the introduction of 
the Order in Pittsburg and vicinity, its main purpose, as 
originally contemplated by Upchurch, Walker and their 
coadherents, had in a great degree been superseded by 
the incidental factor becoming the paramount object and 
purpose of the organization. 

Further, it was pointed out that the new membership 
had no interest in the controversies that had heretofore 
agitated the Order and caused a division therein ; that 
in numbers it exceeded that of the combined adherents 
of the divided factions so was in position to entirely 
dominate the situation. 


The Representatives accepted in good part the ex- 
planations made and with commendable zeal, entered up- 
on the task of amending the laws and usages of the 
Order, thereby better adapting them to the purpose de- 


The first business of importance transacted, was the 
appointing of a Committee of five "to confer with the 
Committee of the Unincorporated branch of the A. O. 
U. W., with full power to form a union with said 
branch." The Committee on the part of the Incorporated 
Grand Lodge consisted of W. W. Walker, Chairman, M. 
W. Sackett, James McCandless, Dr. J. M. Bunn and H. 
G. Pratt ; on the part of the Unincorporated Grand Lodge 
—J. J. Upchurch, J. M. McNair, Joseph Morehead, J. H. 
Williams and Robert Grieves. 

The Joint Committee met immediately after the re- 
cess of the Grand Lodge and organized by electing J. J. 
Upchurch as Chairman, and M. W. Sackett as Secretary. 

For a time it seemed impossible to bring into harmony 
the two factions and suppress the feeling of irritation that 
had existed. Neither side felt disposed to yield control 
to the other, especially was this true as to Brothers 
Walker and Upchurch, and for a time it seemed that 
like former efforts to unite the present one was to prove 
a failure. At this juncture, I felt it incumbent upon me 
to assert, in no uncertain measure, the position occupied 
by the new element of the Order; that it was in posi- 
tion sufficiently strong, to dictate the future policy of the 
society ; that it had no part or interest in the controver- 


sies that had heretofore existed in either faction and 
that if union was to be effected, the past must be a closed 
record ; that if such could not be the case, then the new 
part of the Order would withdraw and form their own 
society. The position thus taken had the desired effect 
and a sub-committee, consisting of Upchurch, Walker and 
Morehead were appointed to draft tentative articles of 
union — of this committee I acted as Secretary. 

The following Preamble and Resolutions were, after 
a lengthy consideration by the sub-committee, reported 
to the Committee as a Whole, and unanimously adopted : 

WHEREAS. — We, the undersigned members of the Joint 
Committee — convened for the purpose of effecting a union be- 
tween the two branches of the A. O. U. W. of Pa., have agreed 
upon the following basis upon which to effect the said union, 
it is therefore 

RESOLVED, — 1. That the incorporated organization elect 
three representatives and the unincorporated organization 
elect two representatives to the Supreme Lodge — the officers of 
the unincorporated organization to make out the certificates 
for their representatives which shall be endorsed by the offi- 
cers of the incorporated organization. 

RESOLVED,— 2. That the two Grand Lodges shall be 
united in one body from this time henceforth — the officers of 
the incorporated body shall hold their respective offices of 
the said united Grand Lodge during the current term — the 
officers of the unincorporated organization to have conferred 
upon them the full honors of the offices to which they have 
been respectively elected; and that officers for the next en- 
suing term snail be selected from the now unincorporated 
body, after which no distinction shall exist. 

RESOLVED, — 3. That each now existing Grand body shall 
unite with the other clear of all debt and encumbrances. 


RESOLVED,— 4. That the Grand Recorder of the unin- 
corporated body shall collect all the statistics and reports of 
his Order and forward them to the Grand Recorder of the 
United Order. 

RESOLVED, — 5. That we recommend the adoption of the 
original Charter Plate with such alterations as may be deemed 
necessary by the Committee on secret work. 

RESOLVED, — 6. That we, the undersigned, do hereby sol- 
emnly obligate and bind ourselves to carry out and fulfill each 
and all of the foregoing provisions in good faith, thereby bind- 
ing both of the above named bodies to the faithful performance 
of the pledges above recorded. 

Witness our hands this the fourteenth day of January, 1873. 
J. J. Upchurch, W. W. Walker, 

Jos. M. McNair, Jas. M. Bunn, 

Joseph Morehead, M. W. Sackett, 
J. H. Williams, H. G. Pratt, 

R. Grieves, Jas. McCandless. 

Thus were the bitter controversies that had existed 
for nearly four years and which had resulted in severing 
the bond of union, happily adjusted and a re-united Or- 
der on broader and more practical lines, started on a 
new career with hopeful anticipations of success. 

The following morning after the conference, Up- 
church and the other members of the unincorporated 
Grand Lodge Committee, visited the Grand Lodge in 
session and were received with the most cordial and fra- 
ternal greetings. To Upchurch, especially was it a sore 
trial. To him it meant, in a large measure, the abandon- 
ment of the foremost ideals he had sought to attain in the 
organization of the society. To his credit, however, it 
must be said that like the vanquished hero, he bowed 


to the inevitable and pledged his support and that of his 
associate members, to the new condition. 


After the ratification by the Grand Lodge of the re- 
port of the Committee on union, a committee was 
appointed on revision of the Constitution, Laws and 
L^sages of the Order, and report made incorporating 
a number of changes; the more essential ones to be 
herein noted, were as follows : 

i — Providing for the election of five representatives 
to the Supreme Lodge. 

2 — For the appointing of Committees — On Finance 
and Mileage ; on Laws and Supervision ; on Appeals and 
Grievances ; Returns and Credentials and on Printing and 
Supplies, with duties assigned to each by which the finan- 
cial and executive transactions of the officers and lodges 
were to be carefully scrutinized, approved and reported 
to the next meeting of the Grand Lodge. 

3 — The "Insurance Article" was amended by strik- 
ing out the extra Five Cents to be used for defraying 
expenses of forwarding the amount of the assessment, 
leaving One Dollar as the amount to be paid on each 
notice issued. It was further enacted that: "Any member 
refusing or failing to pay the Insurance Assessment with- 
in twenty days after having been duly notified by the 
Financier, shall forfeit his right to insurance benefits. 
And any Subordinate Lodge failing to forward the 
amount of insurance due as per notice from the Grand 
Recorder for the term of twenty days after receipt of 


notice, it shall be the duty of the Grand Recorder to 
notify the Grand Master Workman of the same, whose 
duty it shall be to immediately notify such Subordinate 
Lodge that the insurance must be forwarded within 
ten days from date of his notice. In case the insurance 
is not forwarded within twenty days from date of notice 
to the Grand Master Workman, the Grand Recorder shall 
again notify the Grand Master Workman of the same 
when it shall be the duty of the Grand Master Workman 
to suspend their charter/' 

4 — The law that heretofore had been in force in 
both divisions of the Order, while fixing the minimum age 
of admission at Twenty-one, had placed no restrictions 
as to Maximum age — that an increase liability attached, 
as age advanced, had already received recognition as 
hereinbefore noted, by the added fee required for ad- 
mission after the age Fifty had been reached. This pro- 
vision however, had not proved sufficient bar to acces- 
sions in the higher ages and it was enacted that "no 
applicant over Fifty Years of Age shall be admitted 
to membership. 

5 — A further effort was made to insure acceptable 
physical examination of applicants by enacting the fol- 
lowing : "all persons making application for membership 
shall be examined by a regular practicing physician and a 
certificate from the same, stating that the applicant is of 
sound bodily health, must accompany each application. " 
No attempt, however, was msade to formulate a detailed 
Medical Examiner's blank upon which report was to be 
made. Particular emphasis is placed on the words 


"regular practicing," for it had developed that in one 
lodge a Veterinary Surgeon had been elected as Medical 
Examiner, and in another lodge a Hair Doctor had per- 
formed a like function to the satisfaction of the lodge. 

6 — A number of other important enactments were 
made, showing a progressive conception of the necessi- 
ties of injecting business methods in the conduct of the 
society among which might be mentioned the require- 
ment that every member on acquiring the Third Degree 
"shall take out an insurance policy. " That no Subordin- 
ate Lodge shall be allowed "to pay up the dues of de- 
linquent members and receive the benefit of their in- 
surance." A resolution w r as adopted as follows : 

Resolved — That the Representatives to the Supreme 
Lodge be instructed to recommend the necessity of 
uniform legislation in each state, to carry out the prin- 
ciples and objects of this Order, and making all Grand 
Lodges subject to the laws and regulations of the Su- 
preme Lodge, thereby, making the Supreme Lodge the 
supreme law of the Order." 

W. H. Comstock was elected Grand Master Work- 
man for the ensuing year and Acting Supreme Master 
Workman until the organization of the Supreme Lodge, 
and M. W. Sackett, Grand Recorder and H. G. Pratt, 
Grand Receiver, with like respective official powers as 
that of the Grand Master Workman, in his relation to the 
Supreme Lodge. The three Representatives elected to 
formulate the Supreme Lodge were Wm. H. Comstock, 
W. W. Walker and M. W. Sackett. The salary of the 


Grand Recorder was fixed at Three Hundred Dollars 
for the ensuing year. 

The Committee to which was referred the report of 
Dr. Bunn, reported as follows, which was adopted : 

"The report of D. G. M. W. Bro. Bunn is a very 
lengthy one. It shows that the Brother has labored hard 
for the advancement of our beloved Order and the 
present state of the Order is due to a great extent, to 
the same." 

Likewise, the Grand Lodge endorsed the official acts 
of Grand Master Workman, Walker; deputies Sackett 
and Bunn, commending them "for the zeal and integrity 
with which they had performed their several duties in 
the respective offices." 

The Grand Lodge adjourned with -the greatest har- 
mony existing among its members and a zealous enthus- 
iasm was apparent, that gave promise of a successful 
prosecution of the work of the Order. 


A short time after the adjournment of the meeting 
of the Incorporated Grand Lodge at Meadville, Pa., the 
Unincorporated Grand Lodge met in New Castle, Pa. 
The Committee on Union made its report which was 
received with general satisfaction by the members. The re- 
quirement in the articles of union providing that the se- 
lection of officers of the united body for the ensuing 
year should be selected from those who had been mem- 
bers of the Unincorporated Grand Lodge, was by un- 
animous consent, withdrawn. This was a magnanimous 
act upon the part of that body, as the retention of this 


provision had been strenuously insisted upon by the mem- 
bers of the Committee of Union from the Unincorporated 
Grand Lodge. 

In accordance with the articles of agreement, two dele- 
gates were elected to the formation of the Supreme 
Lodge. These delegates were Joseph M. McXair and 
William S. Black. Arrangements were made to settle all 
financial matters of the Grand Lodge and to turn over 
all record books, etc. to the Grand Recorder of the United 

We cannot refrain from giving expressions to a feel- 
ing of admiration generated by the brotherly unselfish- 
ness manifested upon the part of the members who were 
thus giving up the organization which they had so 
long and zealously labored to maintain. Especially was 
it a trial for those who had been prominent in past con- 
troversies and who felt that the change of affiliation also 
meant the elimination, to a great extent, of the central 
purpose they had in view in the conception and organiza- 
tion of the society. To Upchurch it meant the burial 
of his fondest hope and his cheerful bowing to the inevi- 
table, emphasises the noble unselfishness with which he 
met the issue. 

After singing the Doxology, the Grand Lodge ad- 
journed sine die. 


Reluctantly I had accepted the position of Grand Re- 
corder and was only induced to do so by the earnest so- 
licitation of the members of the Grand Lodge and the 
personal desire I felt in getting the business of the or- 


ganization into systematic shape. Grand Master Work- 
man Comstock, who resided in North East, Pa., was 
removed from the center of activity in the Order and was, 
therefore, unable to render much assistance in solving the 
many perplexities that pressed for solution. 

A faint idea of the situation is probably best expressed 
by an excerpt from the Grand Recorder's report made 
to the Grand Lodge at its Semi-annual session July, 
1873, as f ollaws : 

Upon assuming the position of Grand Recorder, I found a 
large amount of labor to be performed in order to properly 
bring up and adjust the proceedings of the Grand Lodge since 
its foundation. No regular set of books had ever been kept of 
the proceedings of this body since its formation. Printed 
pamphlets were the only record, and as they were liable to be 
lost I thought proper to procure a Record Book and have 
properly transcribed all of the proceedings of this Grand Lodge 
since its formation. Also taking the report of your Finance 
Committee as a basis, as made at our annual session, I pro- 
cured a full set of books, properly transcribed all accounts 
from the old books and have endeavored so to keep them that 
your Finance Committee can be able to trace all the transac- 
tions and report as to the correctness of same. 

I also procured entire new books for keeping accounts of 
insurance moneys. Also a record book containing names of 
Charter applicants, officers etc. of new Lodges. I have also 
left space in this book for a record of each Lodge organized 
previous to my term, and would request the Recorder of each 
Subordinate Lodge to forward to the Grand Recorder, a list of 
their Charter members, when organized and their first officers, 
that this record may be made complete. This book also con- 
tains a full record of the P. M. W. entitled to a seat in the 
Grand Lodge. Also a list of suspended and rejected members, 
and applicants. I have also procured a variety of blank forms, 
etc. which, in my judgment, the Order required. 


During the first of the present term, the progress of the 
Order was very much retarded, this was owing to a variety 
of causes, the most important of which were, the expecting a 
new secret work and a desire for the new law that was to 
originate from the Supreme Lodge. 

I caused the proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Pennsyl- 
vania to be published as soon as possible after our session, 
showing the amendments made to old law, and sent 
copies to each Lodge. Yet many of the Lodges were at a loss 
rightly to define them and many letters had to be written to 
make the matter plain. Our former D. G. M. W., Jas. M. Bunn, 
had entered into an arrangement with some thirteen Lodges 
instituted by him, agreeing to furnish them with two hundred 
copies each, of Constitution and By-Laws. No provision had 
been made by this body to carry out the promises of D. G. 
1ft. W. Bunn. The Lodges had paid for these Constitutions 
and By-Laws, and made a demand on the Grand Lodge for the 
same. Feeling that injustice was being done to these Lodges 
and that the progress of the Order would be much retarded by 
the non-fulfillment of the contract of the D. G. M. W„ I took 
steps to secure as much as possible funds in my hands and 
proceeded to get printed the said Constitution and By-Laws. 
My books will show to your Finance Committee the transac- 
tion. Another cause of dissatisfaction in the Order at that 
time, was the erroneous idea of many in regard to the numeri- 
cal strength of the Order. Many thought we were over two 
thousand strong in Pennsylvania, while the facts show us only 
to have been with the addition of the L^nincorporated body 
about twelve hundred. Many Lodges could not see why they 
were assessed upon each death One Dollar and not pro rata. 
This caused the writing of many letters, and a vast amount of 
explanation on the part of the Grand Recorder. In this con- 
nection I was assisted very much by articles printed in the 
Gazette and in the American Working People: both of these 
papers opened their columns for such matter as the Order saw 
fit to present, and the papers were sent to each Lodge and 
much labor on the part of the Grand Recorder saved. 


I would urge upon this body the necessity of recognizing 
some official organ of the Order, as in my opinion nothing will 
be of more positive benefit to the Order than to have, from 
time to time, published the workings of the Order, moneys 
paid, etc. 


I am fully persuaded that more stringent laws should be 
made in regard to forwarding insurance money. Few of the 
Lodges I apprehend have one assessment on hand in the 
Lodge, waiting the draft from the Grand Recorder and con- 
sequently considerable delay occurs in collecting and for- 
warding within the specified time. 

Our necessities require a blank form properly making a 
report of the death of a Brother, and this Grand Lodge should 
by legislation lay down certain requirements. And the blank 
form then properly made out, sealed and attested, should be 
the guarantee to the Grand Recorder and the Order, that the 
brother was justly entitled to Insurance under our laws. 
Where there has been any doubt as to what caused the death 
of a brother, I have had the Lodge procure sworn statement 
of the attending physician. 


In conclusion, noting carefully the workings of our noble 
Order for the last term, I am fully convinced as to the prac- 
tical workings of our insurance feature, mat it will be a glori- 
ous success. Its foundation is based upon the only true prin- 
ciple of a poor man's Insurance Company. And from time to 
time, as the $2000. has been paid to a deceased Brother's 
family, and we have witnessed the joy and heartfelt thanks 
given to the donors of that fund, and the "God bless you and 
the noble Order of the A. O. U. W.," so often repeated, I felt 
that there could not be under a Beneficient Providence such 
a word as fail inscribed on our banner. 

On assuming the office of Grand Recorder, I found 
the liabilities of the Grand Lodge exceeded its assets 
by several hundred dollars ; however, provision had been 


made for the issuing of Grand Lodge bonds to the 
amount of one thousand dollars, which were promptly 
taken by the Subordinate Lodges and thus funds were 
procured to carry forward the work. 

At the Grand Lodge meeting, January, 1874, Grand 
Master Workman Walker reported that during the past 
year a brother named Austin had died and that the 
amount of insurance had been paid, amounting to 
$887.50; that notice of three other deaths had been re- 
ceived and some of the insurance money had been paid. 
The actual amount paid to the beneficiaries of the first 
two of these — E. T. Clarkson, Kentucky, and A. Timer- 
man, Pennsylvania, could not be determined by the rec- 
ords, but it was probably about one thousand dollars in 
each case. On the third death, that of John W. Weaver, 
a member of Ohio Lodge No. 2, of Cincinnati, the 
amount paid was $1,350.00; followed by that of Alfred 
Peak of Boon Lodge Xo. 1, Covington, Ky., $1,455.00, 
and Peter Grover of Central Lodge No. 19, Harris- 
burg, Pa., $2,000.00. The above claims in Ohio and 
Kentucky were the first to occur in the Order in either of 
these States and that of Peter Grover of Pennsylvania 
was the first to receive the full two thousand dollar 

The collection of the insurance fund from the lodges, 
at this time, was very unsatisfactory from a business 
standpoint. No provision had been made for reports by 
which the Grand Recorder could ascertain the number 
of members in the lodges that were liable for assessments, 
neither had he knowledge of the issuance of Benefit 
Certificates, pledging the Order to pay two thousand do] 


lars on the death of each member, these being issued by 
the Subordinate Lodge and no record kept except on 
the stub of the Insurance Book. When a death occurred, 
such proofs as could be established by correspondence, 
was the only source by which to ascertain the facts as to 
membership, deaths, etc. Insofar as the laws of the 
Order would permit and our limited knowledge of nec- 
essary requirements extended, these defects were modi- 
fied but as I look back today and note the crude methods 
by which the business was then conducted, I marvel that 
it was as well performed as it was. 


As heretofore noted, in the latter part of the year 
1870, a lodge had been organized in Cincinnati, Ohio. 
Since that date and up to January, 1873, Slx < other lodges 
had been established in the State — five of these were in 
the City of Cincinnati and one at Wellsville, a small 
town in the eastern part of the State, near the Pennsyl- 
vania line, organized by Dr. Bunn. 

The introduction of the Order in Cincinnati was not 
of such character as tended to commend it to the best 
class of citizens. Of the five lodges, three were located 
in the section known as "Across the Rhine" and com- 
posed of Germans in that locality. While these mem- 
bers were, no doubt, in the main, good citizens, yet from 
the standpoint of insurance, as time demonstrated, they 
were very undesirable, for from the first an exceedingly 
high death rate prevailed in these lodges. The two other 
lodges were, however, located in a better portion of the 
city and numbered among their membership some whose 


social standing counteracted somewhat the unfortunate 
influence of the other lodges. 

That the assertions we have made in regard to these 
particular German lodges were true, is proven by the 
fact that after the membership of the Order had in- 
creased to over two thousand in the State, these three 
German lodges with only about one-tenth of the number 
of members, had more deaths for a period of five years 
than all of the other portions of the Order in the State. 
These six lodges were all organizd by and formed a 
part of the Incorporated branch, with the exception of 
the first one which was instituted by Walker previous 
to the separation of the Order. 

The Grand Lodge of Ohio was organized August 
31, 1872: Representatives from the five lodges in Cin- 
cinnati participating therein ; Walker as Acting Supreme 
Master Workman officiating as instituting officer; J. A. 
Bechtol of Ohio Lodge No. 2 was elected Grand Master 
■Workman; Joseph L. Hill of the same lodge, Grand 
Recorder, and W. Barton, likewise a member of the 
same lodge, Grand Receiver. 

During the year 1871, Boon Lodge No. 1 was orga- 
nized in Covington, Kentucky. The close connection of 
the two cities of Cincinnati and Covington accounts for 
the early extension of the knowledge of the Order to the 
latter city. The moving factors in the constituting of 
this lodge were R. D. Handy, an attorney, and A. J. 
Francis, prominent citizens, whose influence was such as 
attracted the attention and gathered the adherence of the 
better class of citizens into membership of this lodge. 
The organization of the first lodge in Kentucky was soon 


followed by the institution of others and during the year 
1872 four other lodges were organized — one at Newport, 
a suburb of Covington; a German lodge in Covington; 
one at Lexington and another English lodge in Coving- 
ton. These lodges, like those in Ohio, were instituted 
by and as a part of the incorporated branch of the Order. 

The Grand Lodge of Kentucky was instituted Janu- 
ary 7, 1873, by Acting Supreme Master Workman 
Walker > representatives from the five lodges above re- 
ferred to participating in the organization. R. D. Handy 
was elected Grand Master Workman ; W. H. Turner, 
Grand Recorder, and John B. Taylor, Grand Receiver. 

Five representatives to the formation of the Supreme 
Lodge were elected from each of the Grand Lodges of 
Kentucky and Ohio. 

In the meantime knowledge of the Order had found 
its way into Indiana and on September 16, 1872, Wa- 
bash Lodge No. 1 was organized at Terre Haute, Indiana. 


The requisite three Grand Lodges having been orga- 
nized and delegates duly elected, a convention was called 
to meet in Cincinnati, Ohio, Feb. 11, 1873, for the pur- 
pose of instituting the Supreme Lodge. 

The following were the Representatives present : 

Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania — W. W. Walker, W. 
H. Comstock, J. M. McNair, M. W. Sackett and W. S. 

Grand Lodge of Ohio — John I. Becktol, Louis Koes- 
ter, S. B. Lowensteine, Joseph Whittlesey and W. Mc- 


Grand Lodge of Kentucky — R. D. Handy, George 
Pitts, Isaiah King, J. W. H. Searles and J. B. Steves. 

Upchurch was not present, having been detained by 
sickness. Dr. J. M. Bunn was present and took an active 
part in the proceedings, he and A. J. Francis of Kentucky 
having been, by dispensation, enrolled as Past Grand 
Master Workmen, and admitted to seats in the Supreme 
Lodge. There was also present J. O. Rockwell, a Past 
Grand Master Workman of Pennsylvania. 

W. W. Walker was elected chairman, J. B. Steves, 
Secretary, and after the examination and approval of the 
credentials of delegates, the following officers were 
elected : 

W. W. Walker, Supreme Master Workman ; John 
I. Bechtol, Supreme Foreman; R. D. Handy, Supreme 
Overseer; J. B. Steves, Supreme Recorder; Louis Koes- 
ter, Supreme Receiver; J. W. H. Searles, Supreme Guide, 
and J. M. McNair, Supreme Watchman. 

W. H. Comstock was elected to the position of Past 
Supreme Master Workman, and M. W. Sackett ap- 
pointed to fill the vacancy in the office of Supreme Re- 
ceiver, Louis Koester having resigned after election. 

By resolution introduced and unanimously adopted. 
John Jordan Upchurch was accorded the honor of first 
Past Supreme Master Workman, for valuable services 
rendered to the Order. The election of Upchurch to the 
position of Past Supreme Master Workman and Walker 
to that of Supreme Master Workman, was in recogni- 
tion of the former as the one to whom the honor of being 
the founder was due and the latter as the co-laborer 


whose energy and ability had contributed so largely to 
the success thus far attained. 

After the installation of the officers, the Supreme 
Lodge of the Ancient Order of United Workmen was 
declared duly and legally constituted as the supreme gov- 
erning power of the Order and the court of last resort. 

The procedure in thus constituting the Supreme 
Lodge had its legal warrant in the Constitution and Laws 
governing the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, which had 
previously exercised authority in a dual capacity, first as 
the governing power in the State, and second, as acting- 
Supreme Lodge in extending the Order in other States ; 
therefore, at the institution of the Supreme body, these 
laws, so far as they applied, became the laws governing 
the Supreme Lodge and controlled until amended by that 

A committee was appointed on Constitution and 
Laws, of which R. D. Handy, the only attorney in the 
body, was made chairman, the other members being W. 
S. Black, a newspaper man, and Joseph Whittlesey; also 
a Committee on Ritual, consisting of J. W. H. Searles, 
M. W. Sackett, J. I. Becktol and Dr. Bunn; and a Com- 
mittee to design regalia and jewels for the Order, con- 
sisting of Rockwell, Bunn, Becktol, Sackett and Francis. 

The Committee on Constitution and Laws, in their 
report, recommended but few changes in the laws in 
force as adopted by the acting Supreme Lodge of Penn- 
sylvania. Less than one month had elapsed since the 
meeting of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, at which 
time a careful revision of the laws had been made, pro- 
viding for the organization of the Supreme Lodge, desig- 


nating its officers, prescribing its powers, etc., and in 
like manner had enacted laws to govern Grand and Sub- 
ordinate Lodges, in their affiliation with the Supreme 
Lodge, so that sufficient time had not elapsed to test prac- 
tically the laws already in force and therefore only a few 
changes w r ere recommended and adopted, — the more im- 
portant ones are noted as follows : 

Objects Amended — Up to the time of the organiza- 
tion of the Supreme Lodge no specific reference to the 
insurance feature had been included in the "Objects" of 
the Order, as set forth in a preliminary statement to 
the Constitution and Laws. The changed attitude by 
which the insurance feature had to a large extent be- 
come the controlling factor in the Order, called for more 
pronounced and direct recognition in the general state- 
ment of the purpose of its existence. The "Objects", 
therefore, was amended by adding "to create and dis- 
burse a fund for the relief of its members and their fami- 
lies." Note, however, is here* made of the fact that 
decided objection was apparent upon the part of the dele- 
gates that represented the newer membership, to the 
restrictions as to class eligibility, the discountenancing of 
strikes, reference to labor questions and monopolies, as 
set forth in the "Objects" heretofore promulgated, but 
these delegates were in the minority and such references 
could not, therefore, be eliminated at that time but re- 
mained over to a subsequent meeting of the body. 

New Ritual and Secret Work — The Upchurch ritual, 
as before noted, had been discarded at the institution of 
the Incorporated Grand Lodge and a new one adopted 
which had not proved satisfactory. The Committee on 


Ritual, therefore, reported an entire new ritual for 
adoption by the Supreme Lodge. Dr. Bunn, who was a 
member of this committee, was its main compiler. Evi- 
dently there was no one present in the body except Dr. 
Bunn who was or ever had been affiliated with the 
Masonic fraternity, otherwise the plagiarism contained 
therein would have been recognized and the proposed 
ritual rejected. Personally I was not made aware of 
this perfidy until a short time after the ritual was pro- 
mulgated when I was acting as Guide in the initiation 
of a German professor connected with the Pittsburgh 
University. As the rather incompetent Master Workman 
of the lodge was conferring the degrees, and reading the 
charges, I noticed an impatient and disgusted look on the 
face of tne professor and wondered what was the matter, 
for even the imperfect rendering would not account for 
his nervous disquietude and evident disapproval. When 
we had retired to the ante-room, he pulled off the apron 
with which he had been invested, threw it on the floor 
and exclaimed, "What kind of an institution is this ! 
thieves ! thieves ! ! Give me my hat ; I want nothing to do 
with people who appropriate what does not belong to 
them. Why, I can repeat that lecture a hundred times 
better than that man could read it." I was amazed and 
humiliated at the discovery, and confessing my ignor- 
ance and explaining the situation as best I could, finally 
succeeded in mollifying the irate professor who after- 
ward became an enthusiastic member. It is needless to 
say that at the next meeting of the Supreme Lodge a new 
ritual was adopted. 

The secret work was but little changed from that 


previously employed and extended only to the guarding 
of the portals to the lodge-room ; recognition of mem- 
bers one to another ; signs of warning in case of impend- 
ing imposition and of recognition in time of great periL 

Regalia and Emblems — A slight outline of the regalia 
first adopted has already been given and no radical 
change was made by the Supreme Lodge, except to adopt 
emblems distinctive of the various officers and more fully 
describing form, etc., as follows : 

Supreme Lodge Regalia — To be made of purple silk velvet, 
trimmed with gold lace, and bordered with two-inch gold bul- 
lion fringe, with a five-pointed star at the uniting points, and 
gold tassel at the outer points; the jewel of office to be worn 
on the left side. of the collar. The jewels to be worked in gold 
thread as follows. 

For S. M. W., Square and Compass enclosing the letter W. 

S. G. F., Plumb-bob and level. 

S. O., Axe and Trowel. 

S. Recorder, Cross Pens. 

S. Receiver, Cross Keys. 

S. G., Cross Wands. 

S. W., Cross Swords. 

P. S. M. W., Open Bible. 

All the above to be worked over the rising sun in the back- 

Members' Regalia — A purple ribbon badge worn on the left 
breast, with the privilege of wearing the regulation regalia 
without the jewels. 

Grand Lodge Regalia — Blue silk velvet collars, trimming 
and jewels same as Supreme Lodge regalia, except the rising 
sun in the back-ground. Members' regalia same as officers, 
without the jewels. 

Regalia of Grand Lodge Deputies — Yellow wreath, inclosing 
initials of office, on left side of collar. 


Subordinate Lodge Regalia — Officers — Scarlet collar, trim- 
med with white lace. Members — White apron, bound with red 
half-inch wide, containing name and number of Lodge, square 
and compass inclosing the letter W. The jewels of Subordinate 
Lodge officers, same as Grand officers, only of white thread or 
metal. ***** 

Use of Liquor Excluded — The following resolution 
as to the use of intoxicating liquors was adopted : 

"Resolved : That no Supreme, Grand or Subordi- 
nate Lodge of this Order shall at the institution of a 
lodge or any public entertainment or banquet, set upon 
the table or cause to be used, any intoxicating liquors." 

A rather amusing incident occurred in connection 
with the consideration of this resolution, in conjunction 
with the adoption of a ritual which may not be out of 
place in relating here. Brother Lowenstine, who was of 
Jewish-German extraction and tenacious of any infringe- 
ment of his religious beliefs, was much exercised at the 
proposal to use a cross in the initiatory services ; like- 
wise he felt it a serious restraint to be deprived of the 
exhiliarating influence of his accustomed beverage as 
contemplated in the pending resolution. During the re- 
cess of the lodge and while walking down the street, I 
heard some one calling my name in an excited manner, 
and, turning, beheld Brother Lowenstine coming with 
all the speed that his short legs and fat, chubby body 
would allow. On reaching me and as soon as his ex- 
hausted breath could be brought into requisition, he said 
in his broken English, "Bruder Sackett, I shust going to 
vote for the liquor resolution. I puts it under de tables, 
not on de tables, but you shust take Shesus Christ out of 
that ritual." 


Degree of Honor — This society had its inception at 
this first meeting of the Supreme Lodge and Dr. James 
M. Bunn was the author of the ritual and secret work 
connected therewith. It was to be an auxiliary to the 
A. O. U. W. and intended to promote union, sympathy 
and friendship among the wives, widows, daughters, 
mothers, sisters, sons and brothers of members of the 
Order. The ritual provided for the organization of 
lodges with officers as follows : "Gentlemen — Degree 
Master Workman, Patriarch, Usher and Assistant 
Usher; Ladies — Sister of Honor, Sister of Ceremonies. 
Sister Secretary, Sister Treasurer. Sister Usher. First 
and Second Advisor to Degree Master Workman. First 
and Second Maids of Honor to Sister of Honor." 
Subordinate Lodges of the A. O. U. W. were also per- 
mitted in special session to confer this degree or it 
might be conferred in. private on those that were eligible, 
by an officer duly qualified. 

An emblem to be worn by the lady members was 
adopted, described as "a golden heart, bearing upon one 
side the inscription ' \Y. W. T. O. E. ? and upon the other 
side 'Talitha Cumi' ". Only such secret work was 
adopted as would serve as a means of recognition between 
members of the A. O. U. W. and those of the Degree, 
and such as could be employed in warning of impend- 
ing imposition or danger and the rendering of assistance 
in time of peril. 

An incident connected with the adoption of the first 
secret work of the Degrees and which does not appear 
in the record, may be of interest to members of that 
society. Forty years ago it was a quite common saying 


"that if you contemplated a journey over the Pan Handle 
railroad, it would be well to supply yourself with a coffin 
before starting." Dr. Bunn and myself, traveling to- 
gether over this road to Cincinnati to assist in the orga- 
nization of the Supreme Lodge, came very near requir- 
ing an article of this kind to be called into requisition. 
Owing to the disabling of the sleeper, we were occupy- 
ing a day coach. As the train rounded a curve it parted 
company with the engine and precipitated itself down a 
forty-foot embankment. Fortunately, the cars did not 
turn over but slid on the side to a resting place at the 
bottom of the incline. No one was seriously injured 
but all were terribly scared. An old gentleman and his 
wife occupied a seat near me and as the car went over 
she fell to the floor and was partially concealed under the 
cushions. In the meantime, the old gentleman had re- 
gained an upright position and was standing on the cush- 
ions with the old lady underneath. In the extremity of 
his agony at the loss of his dear companion, he was 
waving his arms and exclaiming, "Oh, where is Betsy! 
Oh, where is Betsey ! !" Some one near, seeing the con- 
dition, pulled the old gentleman off the cushions, say- 
ing, "You old fool, don't you see you are standing on 
her?" When Betsey w r as extricated and in the arms of 
her spouse, he could scarcely realize that it was she and 
kept saying over and over, "Oh! Betsey, is this you? 
Oh! Betsey, is this you?" 

When the Supreme Lodge was at a loss to find a 
proper "Distress Sign and Word" for the Degree of 
Honor, the girations and exclamations of the old gentle- 
man seemed fitted for the purpose desired, inasmuch as 


it had been practically applied and found to be effec- 
tive. It is scarcely necessary to mention that the remark 
of the one who rescued the old lady and the affectionate 
exhibition that took place was not considered necessary 
to be incorporated as a part of the sign. 

Xo insurance was attached to this auxiliary at its in- 
ception and it was not until 1882 that permission was 
given by the Supreme Lodge to Grand Lodge Separate 
Beneficiary Jurisdictions to attach a beneficiary feature 
to the Degree of Honor and to enact laws for its gov- 

The first four or five lodges of the Degree were 
located in Pittsburgh and Allegheny, Penna., and were 
organized during the years 1873 an d ^74- 

The Grand Lodge of Kansas, organized May 20, 
1890, was the first Grand Lodge of the Degree that was 
instituted and was also the first to put in force a bene- 
ficiary feature. 

The Degree of Honor followed closely the progress 
of the A. O. U. W. in the different States and in 1896 
a Superior Lodge was formed to which all Grand Lodges 
of the Degree rendered adherence as the controlling 
power of the society, subject only to certain limitations 
imposed by the Supreme Lodge, A. O. U. W., as to 
membership, reviewal and endorsement of laws passed, 
etc. Xo connection involving financial matters, how- 
ever, existed between the two bodies and in 1910 this sup- 
ervising control was withdrawn and the two societies 
became separate and distinct. 

Separate Beneficiary Jurisdictions — The most radical 
legislation enacted at this first meeting of the Supreme 


Lodge was the adoption of a resolution and incorporating 
its provisions in the laws of the Order, creating Sepa- 
rate Beneficiary Jurisdictions. This resolution was in- 
troduced by W: S. Black of Pennsylvania, but its author 
was myself, and reads as follows : 

Resolved, That, when a State Grand Lodge shall have 
under her jurisdiction two thousand members of the Master 
Workman's Degree in good standing, said Grand Lodge may 
petition the Supreme Lodge to be set apart as an independent 
jurisdiction, so far as the management of the insurance fund 
is concerned; provided, that the combined membership still 
remaining under the jurisdiction of the Supreme Lodge shall 
not be less than two thousand members of the Master Work- 
man's Degree in good standing; and provided further, that 
the Grand Recorder of such State shall notify the Supreme 
Recorder that a membership of two thousand exists in said 
State; whereupon the Supreme Master Workman shall make 
proclamation of the fact in due form. 

The word "independent" as used in the above resolu- 
tion was unfortunate in conveying the idea intended and 
was later changed to the word "separate" when incor- 
porated in the later Constitutional provisions. In order 
to explain fully the intention sought to be attained in 
establishing this policy in the A. O. U. W. and which has 
marked it as distinctive from all other societies of like 
character, no better words can be employed than those 
contained in the first, second and third digests issued by 
the Supreme Lodge from which we quote as follows : 

The use of the term "Separate Jurisdiction" may convey an 
erroneous impression if the article of the Constitution in which 
it is used is not somewhat carefully considered. The Order is 
a unit — no part of it is really separate from any other part. 
The same principles and general laws, rules and regulations 


are in force throughout the entire Order. The only separation 
which takes place is in the beneficiary fund, which in a Grand 
Lodge, "set apart as a Separate Beneficiary Jurisdiction," is 
collected and disbursed in such jurisdiction, and is applied only 
to the death losses occurring therein; but this collection and 
disbursement is subject to, and is to be made "in accordance 
with the general laws, rules and regulations of the Supreme 
Lodge." Dig., 1st ed., par. 175. 

The law creating Separate Beneficiary Jurisdictions con- 
ferred no power or authority on Grand Lodges as such, other 
than that expressed by the Constitution, to-wit: "with power 
to collect and disburse within itself the beneficiary fund, sub- 
ject to and in accordance with the general laws, rules and regu- 
lations of the Supreme Lodge." The vested rights of Grand 
Lodges as Separate Beneficiary Jurisdictions extend no further 
than the collection and disbursement of the beneficiary fund, 
under the general laws and regulations as prescribed by the 
Supreme Lodge. It in no manner contravenes or restricts 
the authority, or renders questionable the power of the Su- 
preme Lodge, to levy and collect from Separate Beneficiary 
Jurisdictions assessments for revenue, or to create a relief 
revenue, or other fund as may be deemed proper and necessary 
to preserve the honor, dignity, and welfare of the Order, and 
to establish laws and regulations relative thereto, making the 
requirements thereof alike binding and obligatory on all parts 
of the Order. Nor does it in any manner change or impair the 
legitimate control of the Supreme Lodge over Grand Lodges, or 
the subordination of Grand Lodges to the Supreme Lodge, in 
accordance with the provisions of their charters and the gen- 
eral laws of the Order. Dig., 2d ed., pp. 61, 62. 

It will be seen that the law does not contemplate independ- 
ent jurisdictions, but to, avoid the risk attending the accumu- 
lation of so large a sum of money as would result if all assess- 
ments were paid to the same officer, and in order that the 
more healthful States and communities may, as far as possi- 
ble, enjoy this advantage, and those living in less favorable 


localities may bear their own burdens as far as practicable, 
Separate Beneficiary Jurisdictions are provided for; that is, 
jurisdictions "set apart from a number for a particular ser- 
vice." This arrangement may be likened to the government 
of the United States. The different State governments are 
separate and distinct, for certain purposes, and possess certain 
powers, but to the general government is reserved the power, 
and it exercises the right to prescribe laws for the preserva- 
tion of the national existence, and for the protection of the 
rights of all the people and of every individual citizen. The 
provisions contained in the law must be regarded as wise and 
salutary. When properly understood, they give to our Order 
largely the advantage over similar institutions; for while the 
Supreme Lodge reserves the right to do that which may be 
necessary to protect and defend the whole Order, and every 
individual member, from casualties which may occur involv- 
ing the very existence of the Order in some locality, and de- 
stroying the benefit to which the individual is entitled, there 
are preserved all the advantages which ought to result to 
particular localities from separate action, so that under ordi- 
nary circumstances, each jurisdiction is secured in the advan- 
tage accruing from such separation. S. L. 1880, p. 172. 
$ * * * $ $ $ 

While the concessions of legislative powers made by the 
Supreme Lodge to Grand Lodges forming separate jurisdic- 
tions have been numerous and important, yet,j on the other 
hand, the emergency caused in 1878, by a severe epidemic, in 
the beneficary jurisdictions of the Supreme Lodge and Tennes- 
see, and which involved the honor, dignity, and welfare of the 
Order in the eyes of the world, brought into operation another 
principle of the fundamental law which tends to unification of 
the Order far more strongly than the changes of the law rela- 
tive to separate jurisdictions have tended to its disintegration. 
Following the distinction laid down in the extracts above 
quoted, the Supreme Lodge has, in the main, recognized the 
field of its own action to be properly in the government and 
regulation of the Order as an Order, leaving to Grand Lodges 


the control of those details which affect no member of the 
Order beyond its own limits, and which are necessary to pre- 
serve the individual rights of its membership. The most im- 
portant step toward making the Order a unit upon its funda- 
mental principles (while preserving the advantages secured 
by Separate Beneficiary Jurisdictions) was the adoption of a 
"relief law" by which the relief pledges of the Order to pay 
its beneficiary sum of $2,000. were guaranteed and assured. 
This relief law has already gained the general approval of the 
Grand Lodges, and when guided by experience, the Supreme 
Lodge shall have improved its provisions so that its benefits 
shall be "bestowed with certainty, regularity and promptness," 
and also in accordance with equitable principles, as between 
the various jurisdictions, then the unity and perpetuity of the 
A. O. U. W. as an Order will be secured, while so far as is con- 
sistent with this result, the various Grand Lodges within the 
brotherhood will have the largest possible liberty of action. 

Dig., 2d ed., p. 233. 

Later on and in another connection will be traced 
some of the effects of this feature of Separate Beneficiary 
Jurisdictions in the A. O. U. W. and its bearing on the 
development of fraternal protection in this country. 

Incorporation of the Supreme Lodge — On Feb. 15th, 
the last day of the meeting of the Supreme Lodge, the 
session was moved to Covington, Ky., for the purpose of 
accepting articles of incorporation under a charter pro- 
cured by the Grand Lodge of Kentucky from the Legis- 
lature of that State by the terms of which the Supreme 
Lodge by accepting the act, became incorporated there- 

The act by the General Assembly of Pennsylvania, 
heretofore given, constituted the Grand Lodge of the An- 
cient Order of United Workmen of Pennsylvania the 
supreme power of the Order, no authority being given 


therein by which another body could be organized which 
it could legally recognize as the controlling power of the 
Order. It therefore became necessary, in order to give 
the Supreme Lodge a legal status, that a new act be pro- 
cured which would recognize the Supreme Lodge as the 
controlling legislative and executive power of the society. 
This act is considered of sufficient import to be given 
herein as follows : 

An Act to incorporate the Grand Lodge of the A. O. U. W. of 
Kentucky, and the Supreme Lodge. 

Whereas, Certain persons, citizens of Kentucky, are desirous 
of forming a corporation to promote and advance scientific and 
mechanical pursuits in said State and elsewhere, therefore be 
it enacted by the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of 
Kentucky : 

Section 1. That R. D. Handy, J. W. H. Searles, A. J. 
Francis, C. Shryock, George Pitts, W. H. Turner, J. B. Taylor, 
Frank McDonald, J. W. Crutcher, and their successors, be and 
they are hereby created a body politic and corporate by the 
name, style, and title of "The Grand Lodge of the Ancient 
Order of United Workmen of Kentucky," and by such name and 
title shall have perpetual succession, and be capable in law of 
suing and being sued, pleading and being impleaded, and of 
purchasing, holding, granting, and receiving, in its corporate 
name property — real, personal, and mixed — and of instituting 
such Subordinate Lodges as it may see fit, under such rules, 
by-laws, and regulations as the corporation may establish, not 
in conflict with the constitution and laws of the Common- 
wealth, or of the United States. 

Sec. 2. The object of the corporation shall be to improve 
the moral, mental, and social condition of the members of 
the Lodges under its jurisdiction, and to prevent strikes among 
all classes, by exhausting all honorable means in its power for 
such an end. 


Sec. 3. The said corporation shall have a common seal for 
the making and delivering of all legal acts and proceedings, 
and the same to break or alter at pleasure. 

Section 4. It shall be lawful for the corporation to create, 
hold, manage, and disburse a beneficiary fund for the relief of 
the members and their families, of the Lodges established by 
this corporation, or of sister Lodges established by other 
Grand Lodges, working under and subordinate to the Supreme 
Lodge, under such regulations as may be adopted by the cor- 
poration or by the Supreme Lodge. 

Sec. 5. Such beneficiary fund as the corporation may deem 
suitable and proper may be set apart and provided to be paid 
over to the families of deceased members, or the heirs of such 
deceased members, or to such persons as such deceased mem- 
bers may whilst living direct; the collecting, management, 
and disbursement of the same, as well as the person or per- 
sons to whom the same shall be paid, on the death of a de- 
ceased member, shall be controlled and regulated by the rules 
and by-laws of the corporation; and any such fund so provided 
and set apart, shall be exempt from execution, and shall under 
no circumstances be liable to be seized, taken, or appropriated 
by any legal or equitable process to pay any debt of such de- 
ceased member. 

Sec. 6. The said corporation may make and constitute for 
the same such officers as it may deem necessary and proper, 
whose term of office shall expire on the second Tuesday in 
January of each and every year, or when their successors are 
elected, qualified, and installed in office. 

Sec. 7. A Supreme Lodge may be established by this Grand 
Lodge in conjunction with other Grand Lodges; and when so 
established, the officers thereof and their successors in per- 
petuity shall become a body politic and corporate, under the 
name and' style of 'The Supreme Lodge of the Ancient Order 
of United Workmen of the United States," and on accepting 
this charter shall be entitled to all the rights, privileges, and 
immunities herein contained, with power to establish other 


Grand Lodges within the United States with like powers, privi- 
leges, and immunities, but subordinate to said Supreme Lodge. 

Sec. 8. The said Grand Lodge, or any of its subordinates, 
may, for enabling them to build any building in which they 
shall have a hall for the use of their Lodge, issue their bonds, 
not to exceed five thousand ($5,000) dollars, and bearing in- 
terest not to exceed eight per cent per annum; they may also 
issue their bonds, not to exceed two thousand ($2,000), dollars 
for the purpose of temporarily relieving them in raising money 
to pay the insurance on their deceased members; but at no 
time shall any Lodge then incur an indebtedness to exceed 
seven hundred ($700) dollars. 

Sec. 9. This act shall take effect from and after its 

James B. McCreary, 
Speaker of the House of Representatives. 
G. A. C. Holt, 
Pro tern. Speaker of the Senate. 
Approved, 11th February, 1873. 

P. H. Leslie, Governor. 

By proper resolution the above act was accepted by 
the Supreme Lodge and it became a corporation there- 

It is perhaps well to note here .that soon after the 
organization of the Supreme Lodge an endeavor was 
made to have the Act of Pennsylvania modified so that 
the Grand Lodge might accept a charter from the Su- 
preme Lodge and thereby legally come under its control 
and be subservient to its authority. This however failed, 
and in 1886 the Grand Lodge surrendered its State char- 
ter or act of incorporation and reorganized as a volun- 
tary association under the title of the Grand Lodge of 
the Jurisdiction of Pennsylvania, Ancient Order of 


United Workmen, and accepted a charter from the Su- 
preme Lodge. 

Insurance — Xo change of sufficient moment to be 
noted herein was made in the laws as enacted by the 
Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania governing insurance mat- 
ters. Sufficient time had not elapsed since the revision 
of the laws to test their efficiency or demonstrate what 
further requirements were needful to systematically con- 
duct this feature of the Order's efforts, and therefore 
they were adopted with but few changes, by the Su- 
preme Lodge. 

Bonds, Etc. — The Supreme Lodge at its organiza- 
tion was without resources even to pay the expenses of 
the delegates and funds were necessary to be provided 
by which its work could be carried forward until the 
time when the per capita tax, provided in the law, became 
available. Bonds were therefore authorized to be issued 
to the amount of two thousand dollars, to be taken by 
Subordinate Lodges and individual members. By my 
personal solicitation nearly all of these bonds were dis- 
posed of to the lodges and members in Pittsburgh and 
Allegheny, and thus funds were at once available to 
carry on the work. 

The salary of the Supreme Recorder was fixed at 
S500.00 for the coming year, all other officers serving 
without pay except the Supreme Master Workman who 
was allowed traveling and other expenses when engaged 
in the work. 

The Supreme Lodge adjourned after four days' ses- 
sion to meet in Pittsburgh, Pa., March, 1S74. 



Pennsylvania still occupied the position of the domin- 
ating factor in the Order, notwithstanding the Supreme 
Lodge had been organized and nominally assumed con- 
trol. This supremacy naturally followed for the reason 
that not only the large portion of the membership was 
located therein but also 'because such practical experience 
as had been acquired was limited to those who had there- 
tofore been in control. 

The conflict of legal authority, as set forth in the two 
acts of incorporation, complicated somewhat the conduct 
of insurance transactions between the two bodies. While 
Pennsylvania's membership was true and loyal to the Su- 
preme Lodge and desirous of rendering full allegiance 
thereto, they were not willing at that time, to surrender 
their status as a corporate entity of the State. Steps 
were taken to have the act amended so that complete 
recognition might be had, but the effort was not success- 
ful as heretofore noted ; however Pennsylvania complied 
with the laws of the Supreme Lodge and made payments 
of insurance monies through the executive officers there- 
of until such time as the Jurisdiction was set apart as a 
Separate Jurisdiction, July 1, 1874. 

Upchurch, in March, 1873, was appointed master 
mechanic of the St. Louis, Salem and Little Rock Rail- 
road and placed in charge of the shops at Steelville, Mo., 
to which place he removed at about this date and where 
he remained until 1875. While maintaining a cordial 
interest in the progress of the Order, he was not in posi- 
tion to take active part in its work. 


Dr. Bunn, who had been so efficient in the work in 
Pennsylvania, felt he had been unjustly used when the 
Grand Lodge refused to re-engage him as organizing 
deputy for the coming year, arid was further incensed in 
the failure to be appointed Supreme Organizer by 
Walker after he became Supreme Master Workman. His 
active efforts, therefore, ceased in the A. O. U. W. from 
this time forward, but as will be noted hereafter, he did 
not desert the field of fraternal protection and soon after 
became the father of another society — the second society 
of this kind to be organized in this country. 

Walker, as Supreme Master Workman, became the 
active factor in extending the Order, not only in the 
States where a foothold had already been attained, but 
to other localities where he planted the Order either 
personally or by means of deputies appointed by him. 

In the Supreme Master Workman's report to the Su- 
preme Lodge in 1874, a very full and detailed account is 
given of his labors in propagating the Order in new terri- 
tory, instructing the lodges in the new ritualistic work, 
etc., during the year 1873. The Order was fortunate in 
having a Supreme Master Workman who was an em- 
ployee of a railroad company and was able to travel at 
minimum expense, an item of no small account at this 
particular time in its history and which accounted to a 
considerable extent for the extended area of territory 
to which knowledge of the Order was carried during 
this year. 

Immediately after the meeting of the Supreme Lodge 
the new ritual was printed arid the Supreme Master 
Workman visited nearly every Subordinate Lodge in 


existence and instructed them in the work. While mak- 
ing these visitations, he reports having conferred the 
Degree of Honor on two hundred and eighty Master 
Workmen but does not report on how many female mem- 
bers the degree was conferred, but as special sessions of 
the lodges were in many instances called for the purpose 
of conferring this degree upon the ladies of the members, 
the number must have been quite numerous. 

It must be borne in mind that at this time, and not 
until late in the year 1873, was there in existence any- 
where a society of like character of the A. O. U. W. — 
such as are now recognized as Fraternal Beneficiary 
Organizations. Peculiar interest, therefore, attaches to 
the progress made by the A. O. U. W. during such time 
as it was the sole occupant of this field of endeavor. 
The year 1873 w r as notable as the most prosperous the 
Order had as yet attained and is outlined in the Supreme 
Master Workman's report from which we quote : 

May 20th I started for Indiana accompanied by Supreme 
Recorder J. B. Steves. On 21st arrived in Terre Haute and 
conferred degrees and instructed in the new work Terre 
Haute Lodge No. 2. On the 22nd conferred degrees and in- 
structed Wabash Lodge No. 1. On the 23d conferred degrees 
of Honor in afternoon at general meeting and in the evening 
instituted Prairie City Lodge No. 3. On the 24th returned to 
Covington, Ky. ***** 

On the 15th of June I visited Indianapolis and spent two 
days, but did not meet with success at that time, although 
I left some seed, which afterward yielded fruit. From there 
I went to Franklin, but met with no success. On the 20th, 
I went to Louisville and assisted Bro. Handy in instituting 
Louisville Lodge No. 6, of Kentucky. On the 2nd of July I 
went to Meadville, and from there to Erie and met with the 


Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania. On the 14th, I went to Cin- 
cinnati to attend the session of the Grand Lodge of Ohio, 
but their books were not so they could be obtained and their 
session was adjourned to meet the next week. On the 20th, 
I went to Indianapolis where I remained five days. On the 
25th, instituted Union Lodge, No. 6, of Indiana. On the 28th, 
I went to New Albany, and with the assistance of Bro. Wilson, 
organized and instituted Morning Star Lodge, No. 7, of Indi- 
ana, on the 30th. On the 31st, we went to Jeffersonville and 
laid the foundation of a Lodge there, which was subse- 
quently instituted by Bro. Wilson. On the 2nd of August I 
returned to Covington. Bro. D. C. Southard instituted Bra- 
zille Lodge, No. 5, of Indiana on the 4th. On the 4th, I 
started to Terre Haute, notice having been given that the 
Grand Lodge of that State would be instituted on the 5th. I 
arrived on the morning of the 5th. A full delegation of the 
Representatives were present, and the Grand Lodge of In- 
diana instituted. I remained two days in Terre Haute and 
visited the Lodges, which I found in a prosperous condition. 
On the 7th, I started for Washington, Iowa, to visit and in- 
struct Hawk Eye Lodge, No. 1, of Iowa. 

On the 9th, I arrived in Washington and visited Lodge No. 
1 that evening at a special session. I found considerable dis- 
satisfaction among the members, and that many of its mem- 
bers had dropped off. From its first organization it had been 
neglected, and had much reason for complaint. The little band 
of them who did remain deserve much credit for their per- 
severance and faith, alone as they were, far distant from 
headquarters, not a Lodge within hundreds of miles of them, 
and yet since the organization of the S. L. they were gener- 
ally the first to respond to every assessment call. I con- 
ferred the degrees and instructed them in the new work with 
which they were well pleased. We held meetings almost every 
evening, and with each meeting their confidence in the Order 
increased. There were thousands of questions to be asked and 
answered; they were members of an organization of which 
they knew very little, and the more they learned the better 


they liked it, as everyone else does. They were well satisfied 
with the condition in which I reported the Order. Each night 
new faces, to me, were added to their numbers; the old mem- 
bers were coming forward again to help in the good work. 
There were some men who had got into the Order and by 
their intemperate habits had injured the reputation of the 
Order among business men of the city, and had prevented 
them from taking any interest in it. I refused to confer the 
new work upon them, and instructed the Lodge to appoint a 
committee to wait upon them and inform them of my rea- 
son for so doing, and that if they would prove by their actions 
that they intended to live up to the principles of the Order, 
they would in reasonable time be reinstated. I remained in 
Washington nearly three weeks, during which time we had 
fifteen meetings, and the Lodge had fully roused up to work, 
with confidence completely restored, and the citizens favor- 
ably impressed with the Order, and a good prospect for the 
Lodge in the future. During my stay in Washington I had 
been corresponding with different parties in the State. On 
the 25th, I went to Davenport, where I was assisted by Bro. 
Noble in organizing and instituting, on the 28th, Pioneer 
Lodge, No. 2, of Iowa. I visited Rock Island and Moline, but 
without success. I, with some of the members of No. 2, com- 
menced working for another Lodge in Davenport, and on the 
5th of September held a preliminary meeting. On the 11th, 
I instituted State Lodge, No. 3, of Iowa, in that city, with 
about forty charter members. I received a letter from Bro. 
Montgomery, at Washington, that there were several parties 
who desired to have a Lodge in Richmond, and that if I 
would come up there, probably a Lodge could be instituted. 
On the 13th, I went to Washington to meet Bro. Montgomery, 
l)ut found that the parties in Richmond were not yet ready 
to go into the Order — financial matters being unfavorable. I 
returned to Davenport, and on the 16th, went to Burlington 
and got some good men interested in the Order there. I 
remained there four days and got nine names, then left the 
application with them, expecting soon to have enough to 


organize there. On the 21st, I returned to Davenport, and 
several times visited Rock Island and Moline. I also went to 
Clinton, having received letters of encouragement from parties 
there. I remained there two days and found several who 
were anxious of joining the Order, but a scarcity of money 
prevented my success, the R. R. Co. not having paid off for 
over two months, it being the principal source of revenue 
for the city. I again returned to Davenport and sent the 
constitution and letters to different parts of the State. The 
financial trouble which it was hoped would only continue a 
short time, seemed to be getting worse, and people were 
afraid to invest in any new thing. There were seventeen 
named on an application for charter in Sigourney, which just 
as soon as things looked a little brighter were ready to be 
organized, but each day seemed to bring more discouraging 
news from the Eastern cities, and there seemed to be little 
prospect of doing anything outside of the places where the 
Order was already organized. In Davenport the Order was 
progressing finely and the members were taking deep inter- 
est in its workings, and each week added new members to 
the lodges. I worked among the Germans in the city for a 
Lodge, and having been in correspondence with some parties 
in Iowa City ever since I came into the State, I went to that 
place and talked the matter of a Lodge up with them. I met 
with considerable encouragement and visited them several 
times. Owing to the success of the other Lodges in Davenport 
I succeeded in organizing a German lodge in the city, and 
Germania Lodge, No. 5, of Iowa, was instituted on the 17th 
of October. I again went to Iowa City, and on the 20th of 
October instituted Athens Lodge, No. 4, of Iowa, in that city. 
I remained in Davenport visiting each of the lodges, and 
instructing them; also corresponding with different places in 
regard to our lodges. Times, however, got so dull that I 
gave up all hopes of organizing any more subordinate lodges, 
although in different places there were names enough on the 
applications to institute with, yet they could not raise the 
money. On the 27th of November I organized the Grand 


Lodge of Iowa, in Davenport. I then went to Illinois and 
worked for sometime, but on account of the dullness of the 
times it was impossible to do anything. On January 1st I 
visited the brethren in Terre Haute, and although the ma- 
jority of our members had suffered unusually from the effect 
of the panic and other causes, yet their interest in the Order 
is unabated. On the 2nd, I arrived in Covington, where I 
remained some days and visited several lodges in that city 
and Cincinanti, and found the Order in a prosperous condi- 
tion and the lodges working in harmony. I then went to 
Pennsylvania, and on the 11th met with the Grand Lodge of 
that State. This session was a very important one and many 
amendments to the laws were adopted, which will be of benefit 
to the Order. Our Order has prospered in the Keystone State 
and many new members from lodges that have been orga- 
nized during the term, were present. On the 26th, I went to 
Buffalo, and on the 27th, instituted the Grand Lodge of New 
York. Five lodges were represented. The representatives 
from International Lodge, No. 6, were in the city but did not 
find the hall. I asked the members of Queen City Lodge, No. 
5, to advertise the place of meeting, which they failed to do 
(after promising to do so) and thereby deprived Lodge No. 
6 of being represented. I cannot help but state that their 
conduct at the institution of the Grand Lodge was neither 
courteous nor brotherly. Owing to the panic some of the 
Lodges are in a low financial condition, and Nos. 5, 6 and 7 
are indebted on institution of the Grand Lodge, thirty dol- 
lars each, sixty dollars of which is due to the Supreme Lodge, 
and thirty dollars to the Grand Lodge of the State. On the 
30th, I instituted Brocton Lodge, No. 8, of New York, in 
Brocton. Thirty-first visited Washington Lodge in Corry, Pa., 
where I met with quite a number of the brethren. Their lodge 
is in a good condition, and the members are earnestly work- 
ing for the advancement of the Order; for the preceding 
month they had added many new members and applications 
were received at almost every meeting. February 4th, I 
went to Cincinnati and visited several of the lodges, and also 


the G. M. W. of the State. Bro. Curry has taken the position 
of G. M. W. in the right spirit, and will, in his jurisdiction, 
see that the laws and regulations are enforced, and also that 
the membership increases. There have been several lodges 
instituted in the State since his installation. On the 18th of 
February I went to Columbus, and on the 2nd of March I 
organized Columbus Lodge, No. 19, of Ohio, in that city. On 
the 4th I returned to Covington to prepare for the session 
of this body. 


Since the session of the Supreme Lodge in 1873, there have 
been instituted twenty-seven subordinate lodges in Pennsyl- 
vania, ten in Ohio, four in Kentucky, nine subordinate and 
one Grand Lodge in Indiana, five subordiate and one Grand 
Lodge in Iowa, seven subordinate and one Grand Lodge in 
New York, two subordinate lodges in West Virginia, and the 
membership has increased to over two thousand members. 

Reference has heretofore been made to the organiza- 
tion of the first lodge in New York State at Jamestown, 
wherein the first death in the Order occurred. This 
lodge, however, had but short existence and became de- 
funct before the institution of the Supreme Lodge. 

To Past Supreme Master Workman Comstock, of 
Pennsylvania, is due the credit of the permanent intro- 
duction of the Order in this State. He organized Quincy 
Lodge No. 2 at Ripley, on the nth day of June, 1873; 
Chautauqua No. 3 at Westfield, on the 9th of August, 
1873; Landmark No. 4, Black Rock, Erie County (now 
Buffalo) on the 4th day of September, 1873 ; Queen 
City No. 5, Buffalo and International Lodge No. 6, Ni- 
agara Falls, in October, 1873. 

The Grand Lodge, as previously noted, was organized 
January 27, 1874, by Supreme Master Workman Walker. 


Thus from the foregoing it will be noted that at the 
end of the year 1873 the Order had branched out from 
the State of its birth and had established permanent 
lodgement in the States of Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, 
Iowa, New York and West Virginia, and that the increase 
in membership had been about two thousand. During 
the year thirty-two deaths had occurred and two thousand 
dollars was paid on each with the exception of the first 
one in the year, the beneficiaries of which received $1,455. 
Twenty assessments of one dollar each were required to 
meet the liability on claims for the year; the mortuary 
rate being 12.65 to each one thousand members. 


Not until after the organization of the Supreme 
Lodge in 1873 had much attention been directed to im- 
proving the operations of the Insurance Fund of the 
Order. The law already quoted, passed by the Grand 
Lodge of Pennsylvania in 1871, with some amendments 
made at the Grand Lodge meeting of 1873, and slight 
modifications made by the Supreme Lodge, constituted 
the laws governing this fund. 

No provisions had been made by which the Supreme 
Recorder or the Grand Recorders were advised as to the 
correctness of the collections of the Insurance Fund by 
the Subordinate Lodges, nor was there any record of the 
individual membership in their office by which such col- 
lections could be checked and the accuracy of the amount 
paid be determined. 

Each Subordinate Lodge, at its organization, was 


supplied with a "Policy Book," as heretofore described, 
pledging the Order to pay two thousand dollars on the 
death of a member, and these certificates were issued 
by the lodge without any record being had in the Su- 
preme or Grand Lodge books. 

No advancement had been made in the matter of 
medical examination of applicants, the blank form al- 
ready mentioned, containing a certification by the physi- 
cian that the applicant was in "sound bodily health" 
being the only requirement as to physical eligibility. The 
numerous deaths among members lately admitted, espec- 
ially in the lodges in Ohio, called for more adequate pro- 
tection in this direction. 

No authorized form of proof of death had been pro- 
vided, and only in rare instances was there a record in 
the Subordinate Lodge directing to whom the Insurance 
Fund should be paid. 

These with many other minor details were the prob- 
lems to be worked out if the society was to be pro- 
tected from imposition and practical business operations 

The executive officers of the Supreme Lodge, other 
than Walker and myself, had had no experience in mat- 
ters of this kind. J. B. Steves, Supreme Recorder, was 
a young physician, more deeply interested in building up 
a new practice than in devotion to the interests of the 
Order. Supreme Foreman R. D. Hardy was a prominent 
attorney engrossed in an extended practice and had but 
little time to give to the affairs of the Order. The result, 
therefore, was that on Walker, as Supreme Master 
Workman, devolved the duty of extending and building 


up the Order, while on myself, as Supreme Receiver and 
as Grand Recorder of Pennsylvania, largely depended 
such improvements in practical operations as experience 
had thus far demonstrated were needful. 

The great need of reform in several directions and 
especially in the matter of conducting the insurance de- 
partment may be more fully understood by the follow- 
ing extracts from my report to the Grand Lodge, at its 
annual session in January, 1874: 

One of the important needs of our organization, in my 
opinion, and one that should claim our most earnest atten- 
tion and action this session, is the revision of our Constitu- 
tion and laws. 

Our insurance feature especially should be thoroughly 
revised. The insurance law, as it now exists, is not sufficient- 
ly systematized nor do I think it can be made so under the 
present mode of collection and disbursement. While those 
in charge of the fund, and whose duty it is to see that it 
is properly paid, have as yet been able to correctly adjust 
the losses that have occured, yet it has caused a large amount 
of unnecessary labor and expense, and not been done in a 
manner to properly relieve the Grand Lodge from its respon- 

The necessity of each Lodge issuing to each of its mem- 
bers a policy of insurance, giving directions as to whom 
the money should be paid in case of death, was fully appre- 
ciated by this body at its two last sessions, and the neces- 
sity of such policy urged upon the representatives. Yet 
this important matter, in a majority of the Lodges, remains 
a dead letter, and a majority of the losses settled in the 
last year have been paid by direction of the courts under the 
laws of the State. 

I am fully persuaded that the adjustment of losses and 
the issuing of policies by the subordinate Lodge is not law- 
fully binding under our charter, and were it so, it would 


yet be unwise to continue their issue by the subordinate 
Lodge. The old adage, that "Too many cooks spoil the 
broth," is particularly applicable to us in this respect. The 
irregularity of making out, keeping proper record, etc., of 
the different features of insurance, is productive of much 
evil to the Order and much delay in the payment of insurance 
losses. This difficulty can be entirely obviated by the adop- 
tion of a law providing for the issuing of all policies by 
the Grand Lodge, where a correct record of them can be 
kept, and the status of each policy determined each month 
by reports from subordinate Lodges. The direction as to 
payment should also be made, so that no question as to 
legality of such payment may arise, thus enabling a prompt 
payment of all losses that now, in many cases, are delayed, 
waiting proper evidence as to the lawful heirs. This feature 
of our organization has occupied much of my thoughts during 
the term, and a revised mode of collection and disbursement 
of insurance will be presented at this session for your con- 
sideration, which I think will prove much more efficient than 
our present system, and I recommend it to your earnest con- 

Our system of physical examination is another matter to 
which I wish to call your attention. It is, in my opinion, 
not sufficiently thorough, and a form should be adopted 
which enters more into detail, and which will show con- 
clusively that a thorough examination has been made. 

There also exists in many Lodges an irregularity in keep- 
ing the insurance and Lodge accounts, and I think it would 
be well to make it obligatory upon each Lodge to keep a 
record of insurance moneys in manner and form as adopted 
by the Grand Lodge at its last session. In some Lodges 
this is not necessary, but in a majority of cases it would be 
for the best. 

Agreeably to the resolution of the Grand Lodge, at its 
last semi-annual session, I prepared and caused to be printed 
an official death notice, a copy of which I now present for 
your approval. 


If your Grand body approves of the plan of collecting 
and disbursting of insurance money, as proposed in the revis- 
ion of the law, I would respectfully urge that you instruct 
your representatives to the Supreme Lodge to have that body 
adopt a similar plan. 

I also call your especial attention to our Ritualistic work. 
The wide-spread dissatisfaction at the whole-sale plagiarism 
contained therein has been and is now operating very disas- 
trously to our organization. I have no desire to reflect 
upon those who prepared the work, as many of them 
were not familiar with the secret work of other organizations. 
I would suggest that your Grand body appoint a competent 
committee of not less than five to draft a new ritualistic 
or secret work before the next session of the Supreme Lodge, 
to be presented to that body for consideration, by your rep- 
resentatives, at its meeting in this city in March next. 

I would also suggest that you authorize and instruct that 
committee to revise the secret work of the Degree of Honor, 
enabling a permanent organization to be made under it, and 
adopting the work thereto as one of the degrees of the order, 
reporting the same to the representatives to the Supreme 

As stated in the opening paragraph of this report, our 
order has steadily advanced since our last session; among 
the many influences which have been at work in this direction, 
the most prominent and useful has been the official organ of 
the Order, The American Working People. From almost 
every State in the Union, particularly in this and adjoining 
States, it has brought inquiries about the Order, which Brother 
Joseph Phillips, the publisher, has handed to me for reply. 
Through these inquiries many new Lodges in this and other 
States have been organized, the members of which received 
their first knowledge of the Order through the above paper. 

As indicated in the above report, the inadequate provi- 
sions both of the laws and usages in force at the time I 
assumed the duties of Grand Recorder, were at once 


made apparent, especially did this apply to the conduct 
of the insurance department. The Order was growing 
rapidly and as it increased and spread over more ex- 
tended territory the necessity for more strict supervision 
and better business methods, was imperatively demanded. 

The laws of the Order, other than those applying to 
the Insurance Fund, had up to this time received the 
larger part of attention in the legislation of the Grand 
Lodge and were fairly well adapted to the general gov- 
ernment of the Order. They were, however, in an un- 
systemized form and the need of revision and classifica- 
tion was apparent. To this end, in the latter part of the 
year 1873, with the valuable assistance of Brother Alfred 
Matthias, a member of Lodge No. 27, Pittsburgh, I made 
an entire revision of the laws governing the Order in 
Pennsylvania. This revision was submitted to the Grand 
Lodge at its meeting, January 13, 1874, and adopted with 
a few minor changes. 

Prior, however, to this meeting of the Grand Lodge, 
the revision had been submitted to a general meeting of 
the members of the Order in Pittsburgh and vicinity, 
and thoroughly discussed and approved. An incident 
connected with this meeting of personal application to 
myself and in appreciation of labor performed in this 
matter, may not be out of place to here refer to. I was 
surprised in entering the assembly room to observe a 
large table in the center of the room, fully concealed 
under cover, and wondered what the object was, but was 
not enlightened until later in the evening when the dis- 
closure was made and I was presented with a complete 
dinner set of moss rose chinaware. Needless to say that 


I appreciated this token of regard, the memory of which 
today remains a treasured one. 

As the object of this history is more directly centered 
in tracing the insurance or protective feature as it devel- 
oped, and as the law contained in this revision, became 
a guide to the Supreme Lodge in formulating its laws 
in this matter, the Insurance Article as adopted is set 
forth as follows : 

Section 1. The Grand Lodge of the Ancient Order of 
United Workmen, of Pennsylvania, a body politic and cor- 
porate, guarantees to each member of the third (or M. W.'s) 
degree, the payment at his death of Two Thousand Dollars, 
to such person or persons as he may, while living, direct. 

Provided, That said member shall fully comply with each 
and all requirements of the hereinafter specified conditions 
and with the general laws governing said Corporation. 

Section 2. Each and every member, upon applying for 
the third (or M. W. 's) degree, (all requirements of mem- 
bership, as provided for in Article II., Sections 1 and 2, of the 
Subordinate Constitution having been fully complied with), 
shall enter into a contract with the Grand Lodge, through its 
agent the Subordinate Lodge, in the following manner and 
form; said contract to be signed by the applicant and attested 
by the Recorder of the Subordinate Lodge, with the seal 
attached : 


1 , having made application 

for the third (or M. W.'s) degree in the Ancient Order of 
United Workmen of Pennsylvania, and havig paid the sum 

of one dollar to Lodge, No , an 

authorized agent of the above Grand Lodge, do hereby agree 
that compliance with the following conditions herein set 


forth, are the conditions upon which I am to be insured. I 
also certify that the answers made by me to the questions 
propounded by the medical examiner of this Lodge (a correct 
copy of which is attached to this application, and forms a 
part thereof) are true; and I hereby agree, in consideration 
of the policy of $2,000 to be issued to me by said Grand 
Lodge, to pay all insurance assessments lawfully made upon me 
by said Grand Lodge, within twenty days- from the date of 
notice thereof. I further agree that should I fail or neglect 
to pay any assessment or assessments as above, within the 
said twenty days, the Policy of Insurance, issued as above, 
shall be null and void; and that myself, or my legal repre- 
sentative, shall not be entitled to, nor have any claim under 
said policy. I further agree to accept said policy, subject 
to such laws, rules and regulation as now exist, or may here- 
after be adopted by and governing said Corporation. 

I also agree, that said policy shall not be considered in 
force by me, until I have taken the third (or M. W.'s) de- 
gree, and until countersigned by the M. W. and Recorder of 
the said above Lodge No 

I hereby authorize said Insurance at my death to be paid 

to , of , State of 

, bearing relationship to myself of , 

and whose receipt at my death to the Grand Lodge of Penn- 
sylvania shall cancel in full all obligations existing under the 
aforesaid Policy. 

, Recorder. 

.* , Applicant. 

(Seal of Lodge.) 

Section 3. Each applicant, upon signing the aforesaid 
application for Insurance, shall pay to the Financier the sum 
of two dollars, one dollar of which shall be known as the 
Insurance Fund, and shall be placed as herein after provided, 
the remaining $1.00 to be forwarded by the Recorder of the 
Subordinate Lodge to the Grand Recorder of the State, (the 
same to be placed by him in the Grand Lodge fund), together 


with the aforesaid physician's certificate, and the application 
for insurance. 

Section 4. The Grand Lodge shall issue, or cause to he 
issued, all Policies of Insurance, which Policies shall set forth 
the amount to be paid at the death of the member insured, 
and to whom payable; the same to be signed by the G. M. W., 
with the seal of the Grand Lodge attached, and attested by the 
Grand Recorder. Upon application for a policy as aforesaid, 
the Grand Recorder shall immediately issue and forward said 
policy to the Subordinate Lodge, when it shall be counter- 
signed by the M. W., with the seal of the Subordinate Lodge 
attached, and attested by the Recorder. 

It shall be the duty of the Grand Recorder to keep a 
separate and distinct account with each Subordinate Lodge in 
his jurisdiction, showing a full register of each policy issued, 
and to whom, in said Lodge. 

Each Subordinate Lodge shall make a full report to the 
Grand Recorder, every thirty days, of all polices suspended, 
annulled, withdrawn, or renewed. 

When the applicant for insurance has received the third 
(or M. W.'s) degree, the policy shall be delivered to him, and 
a record of the same shall be made in the books of the Lodge, 
and he shall from such date be insured in accordance with 
the Laws, Rules and Regulations of the Corporation. 

Section 5. Upon the death of any member, lawfully in- 
sured as hereinbefore provided, it shall be the duty of the 
Subordinate Lodge of which he was a member to notify offi- 
cially by blank form of death notice the Grand Recorder of 
the State who shall on the first day of the following month 
notify each Subordinate Lodge in his jurisdiction, when the 
Insurance Fund on hand in each Subordinate Lodge shall im- 
mediately be forwarded (the same being one dollar for each 
valid policy, and such sums as may have been received for 
policies renewed) to the Grand Recorder. Each Subordinate 
Lodge shall then make an assessment of one dollar for each 


member; written notices of assessment shall be given by the 
Financier of the Subordinate Lodge to each member holding 
a policy, bearing date of not later than the 8th day of each 
pnonth in which the notice was issued by the Grand Re- 
corder. Twenty days from date of such notice by the Finan- 
cier, and not later than the 28th day of said month in which 
said notice of assessment was given, any member holding a 
policy of insurance, having failed or neglected to pay said 
assessment into the Insurance Fund, shall forfeit his rights 
to said insurance. Should two or more notices of assess- 
ment be received at the same time, the Subordinate Lodge 
shall immediately forward the Insurance Fund, as hereinbe- 
fore provided, which amount shall pay one notice. On or 
before the 1st day of the following month, it shall forward to 
the Grand Recorder one dollar for each valid policy so held 
at that time under its jurisdiction for each remaining notice. 

Any Lodge failing or declining to make returns as above, 
so as to insure their receipt by the Grand Recorder during 
the first week of each month, shall again be notified by the 
Grand Recorder; and should such returns fail to be made 
within one week from the date of said second notice, all 
policies under the jurisdiction of said Lodge shall stand sus- 
pended until said returns are made. 

Sec. 6. The Financier of each Subordinate Lodge shall 
keep a book, wherein all assessments of insurance shall be 
entered against each member holding a policy; such entry 
shall be made, bearing date not later than the 8th day of the 
month in which said notice was received. On or before the 
28th day of said month he shall furnish the Lodge with the 
names of the members who are in arrears on such assess- 
ments, and the Recorder shall place the same on the minutes 
of the Lodge. The Financier shall, upon the receipt of any 
arrearages from insurance assessments as provided for in 
Sees. 7, 8 and 9 of this Article, pay the same into the Insur- 
ance Fund (said amount from arrearages to be forwarded 
to the Grand Recorder upon the first draft on said fund 


thereafter), and notify the Lodge of the same; and the Re- 
corder shall so place it on the minutes of the Lodge. 

Sec. 7. Any member who forfeits his insurance by rea- 
son of non-payment of assessments thereon, may renew the 
same at any time within a period of three months from the 
date of said forfeiture; Provided, he shall pay all assessments 
that have been made during that time. 

Sec. 8. Any member in arrears on insurance assessments 
for a term exceeding three months, must again be examined 
by the medical examiner of the Lodge, and his certificate 
shall be forwarded to the Grand Recorder, together with the 
notice of renewal of his policy; he shall also pay all arrear- 
ages of insurance assessments, and in addition thereto, shall 
pay into the treasury of the Subordinate Lodge the sum of 
not less than two dollars, when he shall again be reinstated 
to membership and insurance. Provided, That, by a vote, a 
majority of the Lodge consent thereto. 

Sec. 9. Any member in arrears for insurance assessments 
for the period of six months, shall stand suspended from all 
benefits and privileges in the Order, and shall not be rein- 
stated until he has complied with all the requirements of 
Article XL, Sec. 3, of Subordinate Constitution. 

Sec. 10. Any member suspended from the Order for any 
cause whatever, forfeits all claims of insurance. 

Sec. 11. The Financier of the Subordinate Lodge shall 
pay over to the Receiver all insurance moneys, taking his 
receipt therefor; which moneys shall be held by the Receiver 
subject to the order of the Grand Recorder under the seal of 
the Grand Lodge. Upon the payment of each assessment 
notice, the Subordinate Lodge shall forward to the Grand Re- 
corder, in addition to the Insurance Fund the sum of twenty- 
five cents. 

No draft shall be made by the Grand Recorder on the Sub- 
ordinate Lodges for insurance, until there is less than $2,000 
in the Insurance Fund in the Grand Lodge; he shall adjust 
and pay all losses promptly, occurring under the policies issued 


by the Grand Lodge, taking the receipt of the person or per- 
sons named in the policies. He shall publish, or cause to be 
published, in the official organ of the Order, a statement of 
the receipts and disbursements of the Insurance Fund, in the 
Grand Lodge, at least once each month, showing the balance of 
said Fund on hand at the date of such statement. 


The change in the law made it necessary that a new 
benefit certificate be formulated and issued and that all 
members holding certificates issued by the Subordinate 
Lodges surrender the same and take out the new one. 

A new form had been prepared and was submitted to 
the Grand Lodge with the revised laws. This form was 
not entirely original as it was modeled somewhat after 
policies issued by one of the large Mutual Insurance Com- 
panies, making such changes as would adapt it to the 
purposes of the Order. 

As this was the first Beneficiary Certificate to be 
issued by a Grand Lodge, it is set forth as follows : 


No $2000.00 

This policy of Insurance, Witnesseth, that the Grand 
Lodge of the Ancient Order of United Workmen of Penn- 
sylvania in consideration of the representations and declara- 
tions made to them in the application for this Policy bearing 

date the day of 18 .... (which application 

is made a part of this contract,) the receipt of which is here- 
by acknowledged, and in consideration of the payment, to said 
Grand Lodge of all assessments made upon this Policy in 
accordance with the terms subscribed to in the aforesaid ap- 


plication. Do hereby Insure the Life of Brother 

in the sum of 

Two Thousand Dollars. 

To be paid at his death to it is 

also understood and agreed that the conditions set forth in 
the application for this Policy are the conditions upon which 

Brother is Insured and that any 

violation of said conditions renders this Policy null and void, 

and that said Grand Lodge shall not then 

be liable for the above sum Insured or any 

part thereof. 

In Witness whereof, the said Grand 

Lodge of Pennsylvania have hereunto af- 
Grand Lodge Seal. fixed their Corporate geal> attes ted by the 

Grand Master Workman and Grand Re- 
corder at this day 

of One thousand Eight hundred 


Grand Master Workman 

Grand Recorder 

We the Undersigned, Master Workman 

and Recorder of Lodge 

Subordinate No do hereby countersign and at- 

Lodge Seal. tached the Seal of this Lodge thereunto, 

rendering this Policy valid and full force, 

this day of 18 

Master Workman 



A new Medical Examiner's report blank had likewise 
been prepared in advance and accompanied the revised 
laws and was adopted by the Grand Lodge. This report 
also was copied from the blank then in use by the same 
Mutual Insurance Company that served as a model for 


the Benefit Certificate, making only such changes as 
would adapt it to the Order. The examining physician 
was to be a member of the lodge whenever practicable 
and his report endorsed by a committee of the lodge. 

The adoption of this blank was vigorously opposed 
upon the ground that we were drifting away from the 
broad humanitarian ideas of the founders and were en- 
deavoring to turn the Order into an insurance company 
and it was only by a slight margin over the constitu- 
tional requirement that it was finally adopted. 

As this was the first effort to secure a practical medi- 
cal examination of applicants for membership, the form is 
given in full as follows : 


On Application . for membership in 

Lodge No A. O. U. W., made 

this day of 187 

1. Name of Applicant in Full? 

2. Residence Postoffice, County and State? 

3. A — Occupation? B. Age? 

4. Married or Single? 

5. State the approximate Weight, Height, Figure, Gen- 
eral Appearance, and Measurement of Chest on forced 
expiration and forced inspiration? 

6. Is the party at this time in his ordinary state of 

7. Has the party ever been abroad, or in any other 
State, for the benefit of his health? If so, when, 
where, and for what period? 

8. A. Is the respiratory murmur clear and distinct over 
both lungs. 


B. Is the character of the respiration full, easy and 

C. Are there any indications of disease of the organs 
of respiration? 

D. If so, state explicitly the result of the percussion 
and auscultation, locating the seat and extent of the 


9. A. Is the character of the heart's action uniform, free 
and steady? 

B. Are its sounds and rythm regular and normal? 

C. Are there any indications of disease of this organ, 
or of the blood vessels? 

D. If so, state the full extent and location of the 

10. A. State the rate and other qualities of the person's 

B. Does it intermit, become irregular or unsteady at 
this examination? 

11. Is the person subject to cough expectoration, diffi- 
culty of breathing, or palpitation? 

12. A. Has the person ever had any disease of the brain, 
the muscular or nervous system? 

B. If so, state the full particulars. 

13. A. Has the person had any diseases of the abdominal 
or urinary organs? 

B. If so, give particulars. 

14. Have the person's parents, brothers, or sisters, been 
afflicted with pulmonary or other hereditary dis- 
eases? State particulars. 

15. A. Are the parents of the party living? 

B. If so, how old are they? 

C. What is their state of health? 

D. If not living, at what ages and of what disease did 
they die? 

16. A. To what extent does the person use alcoholic 


B. To what extent does the person use tobacco? 

C. To what extent does the person use opium? 

D. Are there any indications that would lead you to 
suppose that the applicant has led, or leads, other than 
a sober and temperate life? 

17. A. Has the person now, or has he ever had, any 
serious disease, personal injury, the loss of any limb, 
or rupture? 

B. If so, has it permanently affected his constitution 9 

18. Has he at any time had Paralysis, Apoplexy, Insanity, 
Rheumatism, Gout, Dropsy, Bilious Colic, symptoms of 
Disease of the Liver or Kidneys, Aneurism, Rupture, 
Spitting of Blood, Asthma, Chronic Cough, Affection 
of the lungs or other Viscera, Varicose or other Ulcers, 
or any Organic Disease? 

19. Has the party had Small-pox? 

20. Has the party been successfully Vaccinated? 

21. Name and Residence of the Party's usual Medical 
Attendant, or the medical Attendant of the family, to 
be referred to for information as to his health. 

22. Name and Residence of an intimate friend, to be re- 
ferred to for similar information. 

23. Do you consider the applicant's life to be safely in- 
surable: and do you recommend that a Policy be 

24. Are the above answers made from personal exam- 
ination, and from questions propounded to the appli- 

Having carefully examined Mr in 

accordance with the above Blank form, and having thor- 
oughly considered the statement made therein, I hereby cer- 
tify that, in my judgement as a physician, he is of sound 
bodily health, and that there exist no indications of disease 
either from parentage or personal habits that should de*bar 


him from Life Insurance. I therefore recommend him as phys- 
ically qualified for Membership and Beneficial Fund in the 

Medical Examiner, 

For Lodge, No 

We, the undersigned, a duly appointed Committee on the 

Application of an applicant for 

Membership in this Lodge, have carefully examined the above 
Report of our Medical Examiner, and fully endorse his 





In passing, it might here be remarked that a com- 
parison of both the foregoing blanks with those in use 
today by life insurance companies, show that forty years 
ago, the companies like the fraternals were but at the 
beginning of an evolutionary period, and that since that 
time the fraternals have fairly well kept pace with the 
companies in the advances made along protective lines. 


Accompanying these revised laws was a Death Re- 
port blank form to be used in making report of deaths 
of members. This form required a report from the 
officers of the lodge as to the good standing of the mem- 
ber, age, residence, etc. — beneficiaries, age and resi- 
dences of the same, and personal evidence as to identity, 
also report of the physician that attended at the time of 
death and that of the undertaker officiating at the burial. 

This blank varied but little from that now in use in 
the Order. 


A Financier's assessment book, a Benefit Certificate 
Register book, a Roll book and a number of other blank 
forms were approved, to be used by the subordinate offi- 
cers upon the promulgation of the revised laws. 

At the risk of bringing myself into undue prominence, 
I cannot refrain from giving place to a portion of the 
report of the Committee on the Grand Recorder's re- 
port, commending my labor during my first year in that 
office. (The Italics are those of the committee.) 

* * * "And as to the many and wearisome labors of 
the Grand Recorder, we know that we but utter the 
feelings and sentiments of this Grand Lodge, when we 
say that they have been fully appreciated, while we feel 
and know that they have been entirely for the good of our 
noble Order. We do hope that a vote of thanks will be 
extended to him for the same." This was unanimously 
done and I was re-elected to the position of Grand 

The salary of the Grand Recorder was advanced to 
$2,000 for the coming year, to include office rent and 
clerk hire. 

The revised laws, as adopted, were to be submitted 
for approval to the Supreme Lodge at its meeting in 
Pittsburgh, March, 1874, accompanied by a recommenda- 
tion urging that the insurance laws of the Supreme Lodge 
be amended in accordance with those adopted by the 
Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania. 

At this meeting the following amendment to the in- 
surance laws was offered and laid over for action at the 
next annual session : 

"That the age of applicants to our Order be 21 to 60, 


and that the part regulating the fee to be paid into the 
insurance fund upon becoming a M. W. be graduated 
as to age accordingly, — From 21 to 30, $1.05; 30 to 35, 
$1.10; 35 to 40, $1.15; 40 to 45, $1.20; 45 to 50, $1.25; 
50 to 55, $1.30; 55 to 60, $1.35; and that a like amount 
be paid upon each assessment accordingly. This article 
not to effect present membership. ,, 

It will be noted that thus early in the history of the 
A. O. U. W. it was apparent that the inequities of a level 
rate for all members, irrespective of age was recognized, 
but upon the part of the large majority of the member- 
ship there existed no desire for a change. They looked 
upon a graded assessment as a violation of the principle 
of that perfect mutuality to be accorded one brother to 
another and while recognizing the added risk of advanc- 
ing age, were willing to pay the added cost in order to 
maintain the simplicity of like contribution and like 
benefit to all. 


Immediately following this meeting of the Grand 
Lodge of Pennsylvania, and the approval of its revised 
laws by the Supreme Lodge, steps were taken to put 
the new laws into effect. New books, blank form of new 
beneficial certificate, Medical Examiner's report, death 
report, monthly financial report showing collections on 
each assessment, members suspended and those rein- 
stated, remittance blanks, etc., were issued. Each mem- 
ber was required to sign the application blank set forth 
in the Constitution in which he made direction as to the 


payment of the insurance fund at his death. Xo new 
medical examination was required of members then in 
the Order, nor were any debarred on account of advanced 

I cannot better explain the situation at this time and 
the. difficulties encountered in putting the new laws in 
force than to give the following extract from my report 
to the Grand Lodge at its semi-annual session July 
14, 1874: 

"Brothers. — It gives me much pleasure to report to your 
honorable body, at this your Fourth Semi-Annual session, a 
continuation of that harmony and prosperity which for the 
last two years has characterized us as an organization, and to 
present to you the transactions and workings of the order for 
the term which has just passed. 

We have not increased in membership as rapidly as during 
the previous term, yet we feel confident that our membership 
is more stable and composed of better material than hereto- 
fore. Many who joined as charter members, during the 
early workings of the order, were not fully impressed with 
the responsibilities and necessary cost of such an order, and 
a large number have become suspended. There places have 
been filled by others fully impressed with the serious duties 
and objects of the order, and the new lodges instituted have 
been started with better prospects for success than heretofore. 

Our revised law and system regulating our insurance has 
proven a strong ''pillar of strength" to the order. Not only 
the membership, but strangers are enabled to trace our full 
formula. It is so plain and simple, yet so effective, that 
it at once commends itself to every intelligent man. 

Financially we are in good condition, notwithstanding the 
heavy drafts made during the term. Our revenues are 
judicious and ample, our expenses moderate and within our 

No discordant factions or rings exist in our ranks to mar 


our harmony and prosperity. We have everything to en- 
courage us in the prosecution of our noble work. Ought 
we not to renew our zeal and redouble our energies personally 
for the advancement of the order, and as a Grand Lodge, 
in our legislation, use due care and discretion, that all our 
acts may possess the virtue of wisdom and justice? 

Agreeably to instructions of your Grand body, I prepared 
and presented to the Supreme Lodge, at its session held in 
Pittsburgh, March 14th, 1874, the revised constitution for the 
government of the Grand and Subordinate Lodges of Penn- 
sylvania, as adopted by you at your last Annual session. The 
same being referred to the Committee on Law and Super- 
vision of the Supreme Lodge, and receiving their endorsement 
was, by the voice of the Supreme Lodge, ratified and became 
the law of this Jurisdiction. New objects of the order were also 
adopted, which, together with the revised law, I immediately 
caused to be printed, and on April 4th I forwarded five 
copies to each Subordinate Lodge, with an official communi- 
cation proclaiming it the law to govern and direct their ac- 
tions from that date. I had in the meantime prepared all 
the necessary books, blanks, applications, contracts etc., etc., 
necessary to the working of the new insurance law. Your 
Committee on Physician Certificate, agreeably to your instruc- 
tions, presented the new physician certificate. I caused the 
same to be printed, and together with other blank forms for- 
warded to each Subordinate Lodge with proper instructions. 

The applications for policies of insurance for the old mem- 
bership in the order, in accordance with the resolution of your 
Grand body at its last Annual session, I caused to be printed, 
together with a blank notice for the Financier of each lodge, 
for distribution to the membership, setting forth what was 
required in said applications. 

Brother Phillips having immediately after its passage by 
the Grand Lodge, caused to be printed the Insurance and 
Subordinate Constitution in the columns of his paper, I 
thought it would be well, as there was a vast number of in- 
quiries as to what the new law was, to purchase (the expense 


incurred being only about twenty dollars) a sufficient number 
of copies to send to each lodge two copies. This proved of 
much good, for upon the promulgation of the new law mem- 
bers had had ample opportunity to discuss and understand 
the modus operandi of the new insurance law. 

The only difficulty I have experienced in procuring appli- 
cations for policies grew out of a misapprehension on the 
part of some lodges, they supposing that each old member was 
required by the new contitution to pay one dollar for his 
policy. This difficulty might have been obviated by my cir- 
cular to the lodges, but supposing each lodge was conversant 
with the action of the Grand Lodge on this matter, I did 
not deem it necessary. Much writing and explanation to- 
gether with delay in getting the applications was the result. 

The committee appointed to prepare a design and have 
printed a new policy of insurance, discharged that duty (a full 
detail of which will appear in their report), and the policies 
were delivered to me on April 9th, 1874. The G. M. W. 
caused to be issued a notice that no insurance assessment 
would be made during the months of April and May, and 
instructing lodges to act promptly in making applications 
for policies. I have received applications and issued 2,694 
policies up to this date. There yet remains perhaps two 
hundred M. "W. degree members in good standing in the 
several Subordinate Lodges in this jurisdiction, who have 
either neglected or refused to make application for policies. 
This is a great source of annoyance, not only to the officers 
of the Subordinate Lodges, but to the Grand Recorder, and 
keeps the books of the Grand Lodge in a shape which is 
very unsatisfactory. Your honorable body is respectfully 
asked to legislate on this very important matter. 

The great change in our operations has not been accom- 
plished without much labor and patience. Many of our 
brothers, members of the Grand Lodge, were fearful of the 
effect on our Subordinate Lodges of so radical a change in 
the features of our order, and while I felt that in its concep- 
tion the principal was the only one that would prove success- 


ful in the order, yet I knew that any important errors com- 
mitted in the numerous details connected with the practical 
workings thereof, would render the same unpopular and per- 
haps utterly destroy its feasibility. 

Having no precedent to be guided by, I gathered from my 
personal knowledge of the workings of the order and consulta- 
tion with the best practical business men of the order, and a 
thorough knowledge gained of Life Insurance system as prac- 
ticed by companies in general, much aid in completing our 
present blank forms, etc. I trust now, that to a great extent, 
the formula is complete — that the work will bear inspection, 
and be found in practical operation, a success. Like most 
great changes, however, it is in some respects imperfect, there 
being several points upon which the decision of this Grand 
Lodge is necessary. * * * * 

Agreeably to instructions of your Grand body, I presented 
an application to the Supreme Lodge from the Grand Lodge 
of Pennsylvania, requesting action making this State an in- 
dependent jurisdiction in the management and control of its 
insurance. The S. M. W. was instructed as soon as the 
membership outside of this State should be two thousand, to 
issue the edict, and it is with pleasure that I inform your 
Grand body that Pennsylvania has been set apart as an 
independent jurisdiction, and will hereafter collect and dis- 
burse insurance only in the State. I hold this to be a 
great step, and a favorable one to her future. It now be- 
hooves your Grand Body to take some action by which the 
limits of the order in the State will be extended. It will be 
remembered that I mentioned this in my report at the last 
Annual session, but did not urge it, as the disposition of many, 
with whom 1 conversed relative to the matter, was to wait un- 
til Pennsylvania was set apart, and our new insurance sys- 
tem in perfect operation. 

The time has now arrived, and unless something is done 
younger States of the organization will outrank us in num- 
bers, to say nothing of the danger of our order being sup- 
planted by similar organizations which are rapidly pushing 


their claims upon those whom we should claim as our pa- 

I claim no credit, nor do I speak egotistically when I 
assert that our system of conducting the insurance depart- 
ment of our order is much more perfect in Pennsylvania than 
in any of the other States in which the order is established. 
In fact it is so clear, so easily understood and so feasible 
that it is attracting the attention of business men and others 
who like the mechanic and day laborer, are desirous of pro- 
curing Life Insurance at the smallest possible cost, coupled 
with security and prompt payment. I will therefore again 
urge that before your Grand body adjourns you define some 
plan by which the advantages of our order will be made 
known to the inhabitants of every city, town and village in 
this jurisdiction. I am well aware that no appropriations 
of moneys can be made at this session for the purpose, but 
the G. M. W. could be instructed to secure a well qualified 
brother, whose duty it would be to travel in the interests of 
the order, talking it up in localities where it is unknown, 
and establish lodges in every county in the State, if possible, 
during the coming term. I am confident that all our order 
needs to extend its limits is simply to present to the people 
a knowledge of its objects and its merits. Again, I do not 
think a man who posseses the requisite ability to fill a posi- 
tion of this kind, would be in the end an expense to the 
Grand .Lodge, as the revenue derived from such new lodges 
as he was instrumental in establishing would more than 
pay all of his expenses. Again, it is now a great want of 
the order to have some one who can visit different lodges 
in the State and instruct them fully in matters pertaining to 
our financial transactions, the lack of a thorough understand- 
ing of which is a source of great detriment to many of our 
Subordinate Lodges. This I consider the most important 
matter for consideration at this session. Let a wise and 
judicious plan be proposed and the Grand Lodge officers in- 
structed to see the same carried out. * * * * 

Finally, the order is proving itself in its workings all that 


its most sanguine friends predicted for it. Let us renew 
our energies, legislate with great care, and trust with a firm 
reliance upon the Supreme Power for a glorious future. * * 

The year 1874 was notable in the business depres- 
sion existing in the country at large, yet with this draw- 
back, the propagation of the Order in new territory and 
accessions of members in the lodges already established 
had been such as to give a great degree of encourage- 
ment to those having the destinies of the Order in 

At the end of the year 1874, the Order in Pennsyl- 
vania had reached across the entire State, establishing 
lodges in a number of the important cities, including 
Philadelphia with two prosperous lodges and a number 
of others in process of formation. 

The membership in the State had increased to three 
thousand and thirty-seven and the number of lodges to 

In July, 1874, Pennsylvania was set apart as a Sepa- 
rate Beneficiary Jurisdiction, being the first Grand Lodge 
to be so set apart. This had acted as an incentive to 
greater interest and activity on the part of the members. 
The feeling was that now the Order was more nearly a 
home institution and a State pride was generated, mani- 
festing itself in zealous enthusiasm and renewed activity 
to extend the limit of the Order over the State. 

Reference has heretofore been made to the advan- 
tage sought to be attained by the creating of Separate 
Beneficiary Jurisdictions. A further word however, is 
necessary in order to correctly understand just what was 
in mind when this legislation was first enacted. It was 


entirely foreign to the minds of those who had been in- 
strumental in bringing about such a provision of the 
law, that in so doing they were creating independencies 
by which one portion of the Order was to be divorced 
from another with no mutuality of responsibility to main- 
tain the good name and credit of the Order financially or 
otherwise. Such a thought would have been met by a 
most emphatic denial on the part of the whole mem- 

It was considered that when a State Jurisdiction had 
reached a membership of two thousand and was able 
with one assessment to pay the full amount of the benefit 
certificate, that it would be a remote contingency that 
would thereafter involve it in financial difficulty, and 
that should such a contingency arise, confidence was firm- 
ly fixed in the integrity of the brotherhood to meet the 

This optimistic view of the future had its warrant 
in the great success met with wherever the claims of the 
order were presented. A single state was considered 
a field of sufficient dimensions for successful operation. 
The experience thus far gained in Pennsylvania where 
the order had, in the space of six years, established 
itself and had grown to over three thousand members 
seemed to present conclusive evidence that the order in 
any state, being protected until it had reached two thous- 
and members and could pay each claim by one assessment, 
was in a position thereafter to meet its financial obliga- 
tions without assistance. 

The arguments favoring the policy of Separate State 
Jurisdictions were many and appealed strongly to the 


membership, principal among which was the lessening of 
accumulation of funds in one place; the closer scrutiny 
of financial transactions; a more careful supervision over 
physical and moral qualifications of applicants ; the gen- 
erating of a spirit of commenditory rivalry between dif- 
ferent jurisdictions in building up and maintaining a high 
degree of efficiency and progress ; these with other appar- 
ent justifiable reasons led to the policy that has ever 
since been maintained by the A. O. U. W. 

SUPREME LODGE 1874— 1880. 

The intention of the writer of this short history of 
the early years of Fraternal Benefit Societies, in this 
country, is only to cover the period from the formation 
of the first society to the time when the system of pro- 
tection, specially inherent in this class of organizations, 
had assumed proportions and business acumen such as 
gave promise of future success and permanency. 

Up to May 1873, covering a period of nearly five 
years, the Ancient Order of United Workmen, the found- 
er of the system, was the sole occupant of the field, and 
of necessity this history so far has been restricted to 
tracing the progress made by this society. The time had 
now arrived when other societies of like character and 
purpose were to follow the lead of the parent society and 
aid in extending this system of home protection. Dur- 
inging the year 1873 two new societies were formed 
with like purpose to that of the A. O. U. W. and a bene- 
ficial department was added to an organization already 
in existence, extending similar protection to such mem- 
bers as might desire to avail themselves of its privileges. 


Special mention will hereafter be made as to these and 
other societies, soon to follow in this field of activity. 

From 1874 and the first meeting of the Supreme 
Lodge after its organization, to 1880 when the Relief Law 
was adopted, was a period not only of wide extention 
of the limits of the A. O. U. W. but also a period in which 
was developed certain progressive measures necessary to 
be followed in order that its settled policy may be more 
fully understood. 

Reference has already been made in the report of 
Supreme Master Workman Walker, as to the progress of 
the Order in 1873. 


At the meeting held at Pittsburg, Pa., March 1874, 
there were present the representatives of six Grand 
Lodges, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana. Iowa 
and Xew York, the aggregate membership of which at 
that date was about forty-two hundred. 

At this meeting was presented, for approval, the re- 
vised laws adopted by the Grand Lodge of Pennsyl- 
vania, accompanied by the new form of Medical Exam- 
iners blank. Benefit Certificate and other blanks, with 
the recommendation that the revised insurance laws as 
adopted by Pennsylvania, be adopted by the Supreme 
Lodge for the entire Order. This recommendation re- 
ceived no support, other than from a part of the repre- 
sentatives from Pennsylvania, it being considered too 
radical a change from the simplicity of former methods 
and to a certain extent a pervertion of the broad human- 
itarian principles enunciated in the objects and ritual 


of the Order. However the revised laws for Pennsyl- 
vania were approved and permission granted to put them 
in operation in that jurisdiction. In approving the Med- 
ical Examination blank and form of application, the 
committee tersely remarked, "Your committee, however, 
observe that the system of 'red tape' is growing entirely 
too much for the comfort of subordinate lodges." 

The failure to have the Supreme Lodge adopt the 
reforms as provided in the revised law of Pennsylvania, 
left the Order outside of that Jurisdiction, still operating 
under the loose and imperfect methods previously em- 
ployed. However, this much advancement was accom- 
plished ; the Medical Examination blank as adopted by 
Pennsylvania was approved as the form to be used by the 
order at large ; the laws were amended by substituting 
the word "Beneficial" for the word "Insurance" wherever 
it occurs; the "Objects" of the Order were revised, modi- 
fying the previous references to class distinctions and 
enlarging that pertaining to the beneficial fund to read : 

"To create and disburse a fund for the benefit of its 
members, paying stipulated sums during sickness or other 
disability; and in case of death, two thousand dollars to 
such person or persons as the member may direct, thus 
enabling every member to leave to his family a com- 
petency sufficient to educate his children and place his 
family above want and charity." 

A commendatory resolution recognizing the bene- 
fit derived from the two publications then issued in the 
interest of the order, viz. The American Working 
People, Pittsburg, Pa., and A. O. U. W. Bulletin, Cin- 
cinnati, Ohio, was adopted and continued patronage 


solicited, endorsement was also given to Representative 
Black of Pennsylvania to issue a paper to be known as 
the United Workman. 

The Ritual adopted at the last meeting was amended 
by eliminating as far as possible the plagiarism and a com- 
mittee appointed of which Representative McNair was 
chairman, to present a new ritual at the next meeting 
of the Supreme Lodge. 

R. D. Handy of Kentucky was elected Supreme Mas- 
tter Workman ; Wm. Martindale of Indiana, Supreme 
Recorder ; L. C. Squares of New York, Supreme Receiver 
and myself as Supreme Trustee. 

The next meeting was to be held in Indianapolis, 
Ind., March 1875. 


The Order was fortunate in the year 1874 — 75 in 
having at its head a man of wise discernment and matured 
business ability; Supreme Master Workman Handy, as 
already mentioned was an attorney of extended prac- 
tice; a man of broad humanitarian instincts that led 
him to become deeply interested in the success of the 
order. As the first Grand Master Workman of Ken- 
tucky he had gathered some experience that aided him 
in the prosecution of the work in the broader field he 
was called to occupy. As before noted, the failure of 
the Supreme Lodge to adopt and apply the reforms con- 
tained in the Pennsylvania laws, made systematic con- 
duct of the business in the Supreme Lodge Jurisdiction 
perplexing and unsatisfactory. With energy and de- 
cision, Supreme Master Workman Handy as far as pos- 


sible under the laws as they existed, sought to bring 
business order and efficiency into control. In reporting 
his acts to the Supreme Lodge, he says: 

" When I came into office I found confusion to exist every* 
where in the Order. The Order being in its infancy, more 
attention has been bestowed in spreading and increasing, than 
in consolidating and perfecting the system. The consequence 
was that an almost endless variety and diversity of opinion 
existed in the Order upon nearly every question that could 
arise under the Constitution, or the Rules and Regulations as 
prescribed by this Supreme Lodge. No uniform system ex- 
isted throughout the Order. It was apparent to me at once 
that this chaos must be reduced to system; that it was folly 
to think of managing such vast machinery where such large 
interests were involved, unless it was done systematically 
and uniformly. I therefore first applied myself in endeav- 
oring to reduce this confusion to order. Letters came pour- 
ing in upon me from all quarters in large numbers, asking 
information upon every imaginable question, and craving my 
decision. 1 endeavored to answer promptly all these letters, 
giving fully all the information asked for, so far as it was 
in my power." 

One of the first acts of the Supreme Master Work- 
man was to issue series of rules relative to the operation 
of the insurance department. These rules followed as 
closely as the laws of the Supreme Jurisdiction would 
permit, those adopted by the Grand Lodge of Pennsyl- 

The one great obstacle, however, that stood in the 
way of effective reform, was the fact that subordinate 
lodges were still issuing the original "Insurance Policy" 
with no record of such issuance in either the Supreme 
or Grand Recorder's office and entire reliance had to 


be placed for correct accounting of the insurance fund 
on the financial officers of the subordinate lodge who 
were in many instances incompetent and the business 
suffered thereby. One year's experience in the revised 
system operative in Pennsylvania had proven it superior 
merit over that of the Supreme Jurisdiction and many 
who had opposed reforms the ye&r previous on account 
of "red tape," were now ready to acknowledge that 
the "simple methods" so strenuously urged at that time, 
were inadequate for successful operation in the broader 
field the order then occupied. A committee was there- 
fore appointed consisting of representative Myers of 
Pennsylvania, Shryock of Kentucky and myself to report 
at the next annual meeting of the Supreme Lodge an 
entire revision of the laws of the Order. 

At this meeting the Grand Lodge of Ohio was set 
apart as a separate Beneficiary Jurisdiction to date from 
March 20, 1875. 

A new ritual together with odes set to music was 
adopted the author of which was representative J. M. 
McNair of Pennsylvania. 

A lithographed form of Charter plate for Supreme, 
Grand and Subordinate Lodges was adopted, which 
forms are still in use in the order. 

The average membership of the order for the year 
1874 was 5,194 and the mortuary rate 13.66. 

J. M. McNair of Pennsylvania was elected Supreme 
Master Workman; Dr. J. B. Steves of Kentucky who 
had served as Supreme Recorder in 1873 was again 
elected to that position, and Benjamin Davis of Indiana 
was elected Supreme Receiver. 


The next meeting was to be held in Covington, Ky., 
March 1876. 


The Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania held its fifth 
annual meeting in January 1875 and I had been re-elected 
unanimously by the Past Master Workmen of the sub- 
ordinate lodges to the position of Grand Recorder; per- 
sonal business, however, made it impossible for me longer 
to serve in that capacity and my resignation was re- 
luctantly accepted by the Grand Lodge, and J. M. McNair 
was elected to the position. Therefore during the year 
1875 — 76 he occupied the dual position of Supreme Mas- 
ter Workman and Grand Recorder. He brought to the 
position of Supreme Master Workman a thorough 
knowledge of the laws and usages as they then existed 
and practical experience gathered from nearly one year's 
occupancy of the office of Grand Recorder. Further 
than this, his enthusiastic optimism as to the order knew 
no bounds as may be gathered from the following extract 
from his report to the Supreme Lodge, March 1876: — 
The amount of insurance paid by the different jurisdictions 
during the year just passed, is as follows: 



$ 50,000 






New York 



Supreme Lodge 

' 54,000 


S. L. Sub. 

Lodges / 



Look at the figures! 

Behold the magnitude, 

and see what 


a great tire a litle spark kindleth. Think of the good that 
has been accomplished; the homes that would otherwise be 
homes of penury, that have been made homes of plenty; and 
rejoice that you are priviledged with engaging in such a work. 
Rejoice that by the blessing of God you have aided in cheer- 
ing so may homes, while you have helped to surround the 
widow and orphans with a competency that places them above 
want and its terrible consequences. Let us thank God, take 
courage, and with renewed zeal work for the future pros- 
perity and upbuilding of our noble Order. Let our ambition 
be to spread its influences far and wide so that the millions 
of good, true men of this and all other lands be privileged 
to unite with us, thereby securing to us and their families 
the benefits and blessings of our Order: 

No pent up continent contracts our powers, 
But the whole boundless universe is ours. 

We seek to bless the world by our efforts, and to elevate 
and enoble the race. Let us for our comfort remember that it 
has been authoritatively said: "Love God and do good and 
verily thou shalt be fed." I would not have you go away from 
here and proclaim that tffe insurance feature is the great sum 
total of all that is good in our Order. No, no. Read our ob- 
jects and think of the principles, and get them fixed in your 
hearts; then shall you bless the world, because you are filled 
with the spirit of our mission, which will lead you to do good 
work in lifting up our fellow men and helping them to fit 
themselves for any station in society. Brother Workmen, up 
and to work zealously, fearlessly and unweariedly, and you 
shall receive your reward. 

The prospects for our order were never so good as at the 
present, tor from almost all over the country comes up the 
request tor information how to proceed to get the order in- 
trduced with them. * * * * 

In the latter part of the year 1874, O. J. Noble a 
Past Master Workman of Pennsylvania was commis- 


sioned deputy to extend the order into Illinois and on 
Nov. 18, 1874 he organized Noble lodge No. 1, at Rock 
Island and in the forepart of the year 1875, Lodge No. 
2, at Moline, No. 3, at Sterling; No. 4, at Rock Island 
and No. 5, at Rock Falls. The Grand Lodge was or- 
ganized at Rock Island, June 28, 1875 and was represent- 
ed at the meeting of the Supreme Lodge March 1876. 

H. G. Pratt, who was the first Grand Receiver of the 
incorporated Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, having re- 
moved to California was appointed a deputy for that 
State, and on August 21, 1875, organized California 
Lodge No. 1, at Oakland; followed soon after by the 
organizing of nine other lodges in and near San Fran- 
cisco. The Grand Lodge, however, was not instituted 
until November 1877, at which time Bro. Pratt was 
elected Grand Recorder and continued in that office until 

The Order was first introduced into Michigan by 
R. H. Sanborn, a Past Master Workman, of New York, 
by the organization of Essex Lodge No. 1, at Maple 
Rapids, January 26, 1876. 

The first lodge in Missouri was instituted at St. Louis, 
May 12, 1875, by deputy R. L. Miller. 

In the mean time deputies had also been appointed 
for Western and Eastern Colorado and Wisconsin, and 
Minnesota but no lodges had been organized up to the 
meeting of the Supreme Lodge in 1876. 

At this meeting of the Supreme Lodge the Grand 
Lodge of Iowa was set apart as a Separate Beneficiary 
Jurisdiction to date from April 1, 1876, there being 
over two thousand members in the state. 


The main interest of this meeting centered in the re- 
port of the Committee on revision of the entire laws of 
the Order which had been appointed at the last meeting 
of the Supreme Lodge. In the preliminary work of this 
committee assignment had been made to Representatives 
Myers and Shryock to codify and perfect the laws other 
than those relating to the Beneficial Fund which latter 
was assigned to myself and later the work had been com- 
bined and was presented to the Supreme Lodge for its 
action. As before mentioned, legislation had thus far 
been more particularly directed to enactment of laws 
regulating the general government of the Order than in 
perfecting its beneficiary system. The revised code there- 
fore, presented by the committee made but little change 
in the laws then in force as to the supervision and gen- 
eral control of the lodges and members of the Order. 
Its merit other than the reforms in the beneficiary sys- 
tem consisted in systematizing and rendering more logical, 
clear and distinct the meaning intended to be conveyed. 

Special mention, however, should be made of the au- 
thority and powers vested in the Supreme Lodge by 
these laws, as follows : 



Section 1. This body shall be known by the name, style 
and title of the Supreme Lodge of the Ancient Order of 
United Workmen; it is the source of all true and legitimate 
authority over the Order, and possesses as such, supreme 
and absolute power over the same and all the works pertain- 
ing thereto. 

Section 2. To this Supreme Lodge is reserved the power 


to establish the Ancient Order of United Workmen in such 
States and countries, wherein the same has not been estab- 
lished, and to it belongs the immediate jurisdiction over all 
Subordinate Lodges in such States and countries as are with- 
out Grand Lodges. 

Section 3. To this Supreme Lodge belongs the power to 
regulate and control the unwritten work of the order, and 
to fix and determine the customs and usages in regard to all 
things appertaining thereto, and to change, alter, or amend 
the same, and to it belongs the power to establish, print and 
provide all charter plates for Grand and Subordinate Lodges, 
and all charges, lectures, degrees, odes and withdrawal, trav- 
eling and final cards, for the use of the order. The un- 
written work of the Order shall not be altered or amended 
except by a two-thirds vote of the representatives present 
at a regular session. 

Section 4. To the Supreme Lodge belongs the power to 
enact uniform insurance or beneficiary laws, and a constitu- 
tion for the government of Subordinate Lodges, where no 
Grand Lodges exists, and all laws or regulations of general 
application to the order; and the exclusive power to approve 
of all Grand Lodge Constitutions, and by-laws for Subordinate 
Lodges under the immediate jurisdiction of this Lodge, which 
must be submitted to the Supreme Lodge, and all laws for the 
government of the Order shall be uniform and in accordance 
with the general laws established by the Supreme Lodge. 

Section 5. To this Supreme Lodge belongs the exclusive 
power to design and regulate all regalia, tools, emblems and 
other paraphernalia for the work of the order. 

Section 6. All power and authority in the Order not ex- 
pressly delegated to Grand Lodges, by their Charters, the 
general laws or by-laws, or resolutions of this Supreme Lodge 
is reserved to the Supreme Lodge of the United States. 

Under the system of divided authority in the con- 
trol of the Beneficiary Fund it was necessary to prescribe 


laws governing three distinct conditions (i) Governing 
Grand Lodges that collect and disburse the Beneficiary 
Fund as a Separate Jurisdiction, (2) Governing 
Grand Lodges under the immediate jurisdiction of the 
Supreme Lodge and (3) Governing Subordinate lodges 
under the immediate jurisdiction of the Supreme Lodge. 
In order for a clear understanding of this division 
of control, the law as set forth in regard to the first two 
of these is given in full, as follows : That applicable to 
subordinate lodges was identical with the law oif Penn- 
sylvania, already set forth on page only making 

such changes as would adapt it to the Supreme Lodge. 


Governing Grand Lodges, which Collect and Disburse the 
Beneficiary Fund as a Separate Jurisdiction. 

When a Grand Lodge shall have under its jurisdiction two 
thousand valid beneficiary certificates, such Grand Lodge may 
petition the Supreme Lodge to be set apart as a separate 
beneficial jurisdiction, with power to collect and disburse, 
within itself, the beneficiary fund, subject to and in accordance 
with the general laws, rules and regulations of the Supreme 
Lodge. Such petition, so made, may be granted by a majority 
vote of the Supreme Lodge at any regular session, provided, 
that at the date of granting such petition the combined num- 
ber of valid beneficiary certificates still remaining under the 
Supreme Lodge shall not be less than two thousand; and 
provided, further, that such Grand Lodge so petitioning shall 
fully comply with the following specified conditions: 

1. Said Grand Lodge shall be responsible for, and shall 
pay to the Supreme Recorder, all assessments of the benefic- 
iary fund made on deaths occuring on and before the date 
of separation, and the Supreme Lodge shall pay all losses oc- 


curring in the jurisdiction of said Grand Lodge up to and 
including said date. 

2. Said Grand Lodge shall not receive or be entitled to 
any surplus moneys that may be in the beneficiary fund in 
the Supreme Lodge after settlement has been made of losses 
occuring prior to the date of separation. 

3. Each Grand Lodge so set apart as a beneficiary juris- 
diction shall manage within itself the beneficiary depart- 
ment, assessing, collecting and disbursing the beneficial fund, 
in accordance with and governed by the general laws and 
usages prescribed by the Supreme Lodge to Subordinate 
Lodges under its immediate jurisdiction, and no alteration or 
amendment to such law or usage shall be made except by the 
Supreme Lodge. 

4. The Grand Recorder of each Grand Lodge so set apart 
shall make full report to the Supreme Recorder each month 
of all beneficiary moneys received and disbursed in his jur- 
isdiction, and the Supreme Recorder shall make Record of 
the same in the books of the Supreme Lodge. 

5. Should any Grand Lodge, set apart as a separate jur- 
isdiction, be, from any cause, reduced to less than two 
thousand members, it shall immediately come under the con- 
trol of the Supreme Lodge, and the members in said juris- 
diction shall have the same privilege and benefits, and sub- 
ject to the same duties and liabilities to the Supreme Lodge 
as if said Grand Lodge had never been set apart as a separate 
jurisdiction for the collection and disbursement of the bene- 
ficiary fund and said Grand Lodge shall collect, pay over 
and disburse all moneys in the same manner as required be- 
fore it was set apart as a separate jurisdiction, or as the 
law requires for Grand Lodges that have never been set apart 
as a separate jurisdiction. 

Governing Grand Lodges under the Immediate Jurisdiction 
of the Supreme Lodge. 
Section 1. When a Grand Lodge has been formed in ac- 


cordance with Art , Section , of this Constitu- 
tion, and so long as it shall act under a Charter granted by 
the Supreme Lodge, it shall be lawful for such Grand Lodge 
to issue Beneficiary Certificates to members of the Sub- 
ordinate Lodges in its jursdiction, in like manner and form, 
and subject to the same laws, rules and regulations as that 
prescribed tor and governing the Supreme Lodge. And the 
collection and disbursement of the Beneficiary Fund, in such 
jurisdiction, shall be in accordance with the following rules 
and regulations. 

Section 2. Immediately upon the formation of a Grand 
Lodge, the Supreme Recorder shall make out and deliver to 
the Grand Recorder a full register, by Lodges, of all Bene- 
ficiary Certificates held under such Grand Lodge showing 
the number, both of valid and suspended Beneficiary Cer- 
tificates, and by whom held, in each Subordinate Lodge. He 
Shall transfer to the Grand Recorder the medical examiner's 
reports and the contracts upon which Beneficiary Certificates 
were issued. He shall also make out a full record of the 
officers of each Subordinate Lodge, the amount of beneficiary 
fund received and dispensed by each Subordinate Lodge prior 
to such date. 

Secton 3. The Grand Recorder shall make record of all 
matters received from the Supreme Recorder in the books 
of the Grand Lodge; keeping such books in like manner and 
form as prescribed by the Supreme Lodge, and he shall in 
like manner thereafter keep a full record of all Beneficiary 
Certificates issued, and from the monthly statements of each 
Subordinate Lodge keep a full record of the status of all 
Beneficiary Certificates in his jurisdiction. He shall upon the 
receipt of official notice of the death of any member holding 
a valid Beneficiary Certificate, immediately forward the same, 
attested by the seal of the Grand Lodge, together with the 
contract and medical examiner's report on which such de- 
ceased member's Beneficiary Certificate was issued, to the 
Supreme Recorder. He shall, upon official notice from the 


Supreme Recorder ordering assessments for the Beneficiary 
Fund, immediately proceed to assess and collect on all Bene- 
ficiary Certificates in his jurisdiction in like manner and form, 
and subject to the same laws, rules and regulations, as that 
prescribed for and governing the assessing and collecting the 
Beneficiary Fund from Subordinate Lodges under the juris- 
diction of the Supreme Lodge. He shall make report not 
later than the 15th day of each month, to the Supreme Re- 
corder, of all moneys received for the Beneficiary Fund giv- 
ing the name, number, location, and the amount paid by each 
Subordinate Lodge in his Jurisdiction, and he shall forward 
with said monthly report a draft, payable to the order of 
the Supreme Recorder, for the amount so shown by the state- 
ment, less only twenty-five cents of the excess of fifty cents 
paid by each Subordinate Lodge on each assessment, which 
amount he shall place in the Grand Lodge General Fund. 
He shall also make report to the Supreme Recorder on the 
15th day of each month, of all Subordinate Lodges wherein 
the Beneficiary Certificates are held suspended under the 
provisions of Section 8 of Beneficiary Article governing Sub- 
ordinate Lodges. 

Section 4. The Supreme Recorder shall upon receipt of 
official notice of death, issue assessment notices to Grand 
Lodges in like manner and form as Subordinate Lodges un- 
der the jurisdiction of the Supreme Lodge. He shall ad- 
just and pay losses under the Beneficiary Certificates issued 
by Grand podges, in like manner as those issued by the 

Supreme Lodge, and as provided for in Section , 

Beneficiary Article governing Subordinate Lodges. He shall 
publish, on or before the 15th day of each month, a full 
statement, by Lodges, of all Beneficiary Funds received from 
each Grand Lodge, and forward to each Grand Recorder 
sufficient number to send each Subordinate Lodge in his 
jurisdiction one copy. The correctness of such statement to 
be attested by the Supreme Lodge Finance Committee. 

After long and continuous debate it was found that 


a constitutional majority could not be obtained to the pas- 
sage of the revised laws at this meeting and a resolution 
was adopted referring the entire matter to the next meet- 
ing of the Supreme Lodge arid directing that the proposed 
laws be printed as an appendix to the proceedings and 
sent to each subordinate lodge. 

The main opposition to the reforms recommended 
centered in the proposed amendments to the Beneficiary 
articles. It savored too much of insurance methods 
and was repugnant to those who thought fraternity should 
be relied upon for correct accounting and operation with- 
out the injection of "so much red tape," and, therefore, 
the loose and unsystematic conduct of financial affairs, 
outside of Pennsylvania was suffered to continue another 

Special attention is called to the provision in Section 
"5" of the Article governing Grand Lodges set apart 
as Separate Beneficiary Jurisdictions, wherein it is pro- 
vided that in case the membership in any such Juris- 
diction should be reduced below two thousand, it again 
became a part of the Supreme Beneficiary Jurisdiction. 
Thus each separate state Jurisdiction was protected 
against a possible disaster that would reduce the mem- 
bership to a point where one assessment would not pro- 
duce sufficient funds to meet a death claim. 

The point desired to be emphasized is the recogni- 
tion of the Unity of the Order and that in creating separ- 
ate Beneficiary Jurisdictions it was not intended to des- 
troy the interdependence of one section with another, 
but that should conditions arise by which the financial 
ability of any part was unable to protect the integrity of 


the Order, the power was inherent in the Supreme Lodge 
to provide adequate relief. 

The law, however, was deficient in not explicitly pro- 
viding for contingencies of disaster that might arise in 
Jurisdictions having more than two thousand members 
and which could not be met without aid from the order 
at large. This defect was soon to be made apparent by 
the financial difficulties that arose in the Supreme Lodge 
Jurisdiction and that of the Separate Jurisdiction of 
Tennessee caused by the yellow fever epidemic of 
1878—79, and which will be more fully referred to here- 

At this meeting the Anchor and Shield was adopted 
as the distinctive emblem of the A. O. U, W. 

The average membership for the year 1875 was 8,344 
and the mortuary rate 11.02. 

C. Shryock of Kentucky was elected Supreme Master 
Workman; Edwin Elmore of Xew York, Supreme Re- 
corder and Benjamin Davis of Indiana was re-elected 
Supreme Receiver. 

Shortly before this meeting the Supreme Recorder, 
J. B. Steves, had died and W. H. Turner of Kentucky 
had taken temporary charge of the office and I was ap- 
pointed Supreme Recorder pro tern for the session, and 
served on the Committee on Laws for the ensuing year. 

The next meeting was to be held at Chicago, 111, 
March 1877. 

The year ending March 1, 1877 was the most prosper- 


ous year yet enjoyed by the Order. Subordinate lodges, 
under the immediate jurisdiction of the Supreme Lodge, 
had been organized in Missouri, Tennessee, California, 
Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan and in the Dominion of 
Canada, Grand Lodges had been instituted in Missouri, 
Wisconsin, Minnesota, Tennessee and Michigan. The 
Supreme Recorder in noting the progress made, says, "It 
has overstepped the bounds of the States and been planted 
in Canada and efforts are being made to introduce it into 
Massachusetts, New Jersey, Georgia, Texas, Oregon, Col- 
orado and Kansas. I have had letters of inquiry from 
all those states and have furnished the applications for 
new lodges." He reports twenty-eight subordinate lodges 
instituted in the Supreme Lodge Jurisdiction during the 

The membership at the beginning of the year 1877 
was 16,319, the average for the year was 13,128 and the 
mortuary rate 8.15. 

Special mention should be made of the splendid work 
done by Supreme Deputy, O. J. Xoble. To him, as prev- 
iously mentioned, belonged the honor of introducing the 
Order in Illinois and in this the following year, in Wis- 
consin and Minnesota. He was a man of middle age, at- 
tractive personality, modest in demeanor, of sterling in- 
tegrity and imbued with a love and enthusiasm for the 
Order that generated a like spirit in those to whom he 
presented its claims. As showing his capabilities as an 
organizer and also as showing the ready acceptance with 
which the Order was received wherever its claims were 
presented, no better words can be used than those of 


Brother Noble as they appear in his report relative to the 
introduction of the Order in St. Paul, Minnesota. 
He says : 

"I instituted Hokah Lodge, No. 1, after which I struck 
out for St. Paul, the capital of the State, where I arrived 
on the 27th of October, 1877, completely worn down and feeble. 
The prospects for success here were not very bright, from 
the fact that the city was completely overrun with secret or- 
ganizations; 1 looked over the city, and as I pondered over 
the condition of things, as they appeared to my mind, I 
seemed to gain courage from the words 'to the persevering 
success is sure/ and as soon as practicable I presented the 
object ot my mission and met with unparalleled response 
l ; rom all parts of the city, and on the 11th of November, I 
instituted Noble Lodge No. 2, and upon the petition for char- 
ter were 105 names of first-class citizens. On the 18th, 
seven days later, I instituted Franklin Lodge, No. 3, which 
had seventy-eight petitioners for charter. * * * On 
the 27th 1 instituted Banner Lodge, No. 4, which had one 
hundred and eighty petitioners, and on the 29th I instituted 
Concordia Lodge, No. 5 (German), which had eighty peti- 
tioners. * * * On the 4th day of December, I insti- 
tuted Advance Lodge, No. 6, in the City of Minneapolis, with 
forty-seven petitioners." 

At this meeting should also be noted the introduction 
of one who for the succeeding seventeen years and to the 
time of his death, occupied a leading and commanding po- 
sition in the Supreme Lodge ; Judge John Frizzell brought 
to the Supreme Lodge and the Order, the benefit of a well 
stored legal mind, wide experience as a prominent at- 
torney in Nashville, Tennessee and Judge of the State 
Court. He was also for many years the Grand Secretary 
of Masons for the State of Tennessee. These qualifi- 
cations admirably fitted him as legal advisor and counselor 



in the construction and execution of the laws of the Or- 
der. His genial personality and christian character at 
once commanded the confidence, trust and friendship of 
all with whom he came in contact. As a representative 
from Tennessee he was at once appointed Chairman of 
the important Committee on laws and supervision, upon 
which committee he continued to serve without interrup- 
tion until the time of his death with the exception of the 
years he occupied the position of Supreme Master Work- 
man and that of Past Supreme Master Workman. His 
constructive work in moulding the laws of the Order 
is found on nearly every page of the proceedings of the 
Supreme Lodge up to the time of his death which 
occurred November 3, 1894. 

This meeting also marks the entrance to the councils 
of the Supreme Lodge of Hon. S. S. Davis, Ex-Mayor 
and banker of the city of Cincinnati, Ohio. His high 
standing as a business man and banker at once forced rec- 
ognition and he was elected Supreme Receiver which re- 
sponsible position he continued to occupy each succeed- 
ing year until 1884. 

The business that practically absorbed the entire atten- 
tion of this meeting was the consideration of the report 
of the Special Committee on revision of the laws, laid over 
from the last meeting. During the year these laws had 
been before the Subordinate Lodges and had been fully 
examined and the delegates came to the Supreme Lodge 
well fortified to discuss what they considered either the 
merits or demerits of the proposed changes. 

Immediately after the reports of the officers were re- 


ceived, the consideration of these laws was taken up in 
the Committee of the Whole and after extended debate 
and the introduction of a number of amendments, the 
committee arose and reported to the Supreme Lodge, ask- 
ing that a Special Committee be appointed to consider all 
amendments proposed and report thereon to the body. 
This Committee consisted of myself as chairman, Repre- 
sentative Frizzell, of Tennessee, Myers of Pennsylvania, 
Andrus of New York, Davis of Ohio and Past Supreme 
Master Workman Walker and Supreme Master Work- 
man Shryock. 

The reason for the explicit details given above,, was 
that pending before the body was a proposition, introduced 
by Judge Frizzell to change the entire system of the Order 
by doing away with separate Beneficiary Jurisdictions and 
forming a general Jurisdiction, similar to the Knights of 
Honor, which at that time had come into existence and in 
which Judge Frizzell held membership. On this Com- 
mittee, therefore, in the main, rested the decision on this 
important matter. It was a momentous question for the 
Committee to decide, and in its solution no guide was 
available. The older and more experienced members in 
the order were wedded to the Separate Beneficiary sys- 
tem under which such good results had thus far been at- 
tained, but those who had more recently entered were in- 
clined to follow the judgement of Judge Frizzell. Two 
days and two nights were spent in the effort to arrive at 
a harmonious conclusion and twice did the committee go 
back to the Supreme Lodge for instructions before it was 
finally determined to report in favor of continuing the 
policy of Separate Beneficiary Jurisdictions. 



This question being settled, the revised laws as pro- 
posed by the committee on revision of the previous year, 
was adopted, including those applicable to the Beneficiary 
Fund. Thus was the future policy of the Order fixed as 
it has existed up to the present time. 

Again was the proposition introduced to change the 
assessment rate to that of a graded rate but it met with 
no support, the committee reporting that we u do not (the 
italics are those of the committee) deem it advisable at 
this time to make any change in our present uniform as- 

Among the proposed amendments to the laws sub- 
mitted was one by Representative Schriner of Missouri, 
proposing the raising of a Reserve Beneficiary Fund not 
to exceed one million of dollars, to be applied to the pay- 
ment of death claims in any Jurisdiction when the assess- 
ments therein exceeded twenty-five in any one year. The 
proposition received no support and met its oblivion in 
the committee to which it was referred. 

The various blank books, form? of reports, benefit 
certificate and medical examiner's report, as in use in 
Pennsylvania, were approved for use in the Supreme Jur- 

The Grand Lodges of Kentucky, Xew York and Illin- 
ois were set apart as Separate Beneficiary Jurisdictions, 
each having the requisite two thousand members. 

Samuel B. Myers, who had served as Grand Master 
Workman of Pennsylvania in 1874 and who was one of 
the Charter members of Franklin Lodge Xo. 3, was 
elected Supreme Master Workman ; Henry N. Berry of 
Iowa, Supreme Recorder and S. S. Davis of Ohio, Su- 


preme Receiver. During this year I served on the Com- 
mittee on Laws. 


The Sixth annual meeting of the Supreme Lodge 
was held at St. Louis, Mo., March, 1878. The past year 
marked no diminution of interest nor sessation of onward 
progress. The limits had been extended from that 
previously occupied to the states of Georgia, Mississippi, 
Kansas, Texas and Nebraska, and twenty-five lodges had 
been organized in the Supreme Lodge Jurisdiction. The 
membership had more than doubled during the year, 
increasing from 16,319 January 1, 1877, to 35,886 
January 1, 1878; the average for the year being 26.102 
and the mortality rate 6.24 to the thousand. The amount 
of death claims paid during the year 1877 was $308,- 

The revised laws, putting in force practically a new 
system in the conduct of the Beneficiary Fund, was 
promulgated June 1, 1877 and while at first some dis- 
satisfaction and criticism was manifested, yet in the main 
the laws proved satisfactory, and before the end of the 
year most of the opposition disappeared. 

Speaking of the criticism against the Supreme Lodge 
engendered by the radical changes in the laws, and 
counseling that only such changes therein as are absolute- 
ly necessary be made, Supreme Master Workman Myers 

"I have observed that the members of this body have been 
severely criticised for their action, and not only criticised 
(which would be proper if fairly done,) but their motives 
have even been impugned. 


I wish to say for the body that I have never formed 
the acquaintance of men who were more earnest to work 
for the interests of those who had intrusted them, and the 
Order at large, than the brethern I have met here. Con- 
servative in every thing, as a body of this kind should be, 
many of its members for years toiling in the interests of 
the Order without reward or the hope thereof, building up 
an Order unknown to the country and to the world, bring- 
ing blessings and comfort to thousands of bereaved homes, 
raising and encouraging the crushed and broken in heart, 
going home from the sessions of the Supreme Lodge tired 
and weary after days of toil, anxiety, and sleepless nights 
in committee work, without even credit, (judging the lan- 
guage of some critics) of being sincere. 

I know there is, and always will be, an honest difference 
of opinion with regard to the advisability of doing or not 
doing certain things but I do feel and know, brethren, that 
you have tried in the honesty of your hearts, and the con- 
victions of your better judgment, to work for the best in- 
terests of the Order, and that the laws adopted at the last 
session of the Supreme Lodge are as near the requirements 
of the Order, with the experience we have had in its work- 
ing, as could be reasonably expected, is evidenced by the fact 
that I have been called upon to render but few decisions of any 
importance, indeed, it is remarkable, when we consider that 
our Order is constantly being planted in new territory. 

A law that requires but little of the interposition of the 
Court of last resort is pretty nearly adapted to the purpose 
for which it was made. 

Under our laws the order has had a growth that is un- 
precedented, many of its leading features are being copied 
by other orders, and new ones formed upon a like basis, while 
we are moving steadily forward in our good work. 

I therefore recommend that you be careful about mak 
ing radical changes for experiment's sake and against the 
light of experience. 


Hasty legislation is the bane of any government, or or- 
ganization, governed by law." * * * * 

Quoting further from this report, in regard to cer- 
tain infraction of the laws that had occured, he says : 

"I repeat that the Supreme Lodge is a necessity in con- 
ducting the business of this Order, as much as the highest 
judicial body, the court of last resort, or the law making 
power is to any government or organization, and its decrees 
in accordance with the law of the Order must be obeyed. 
The moment you allow them to be openly and wantonly dis- 
regarded, that moment has your decline as an Order com- 

No more can this Order exist without the observance of 
the lawful decrees of the Supreme Lodge, than could the 
Nation, with every State disregarding those laws that are. 
general and fundamental ; the Nation with all its power, its 
glory, its honor and greatness, would fall to pieces and per- 
haps sink into oblivion, and so would our Order. 

There was a time in the history of this Order that I well 
remember, if two or three members could have had their way 
in disregarding the commands of the Supreme Lodge, there 
would have been no Grand Lodge, with the grand member- 
ship composing it today, in the State referred to, and no Su- 
preme Lodge now in session." * * * * 

The necessity for more explicit instructions to the 
lodges relative to the general application of the laws, 
especially as to the proper conduct of the beneficiary 
department, than that given in the Constitution and Gen- 
eral Laws, was apparent to those having the Order in 
charge. This matter had been referred to the Com- 
mittee on Laws, the year previous, and I had assumed 
the duty of preparing a Digest, or more properly a 
book, of instructions analyzing the laws and giving de- 
tails as to the manner and form of lodge procedure, 


duties of officers, application and use of the various 
forms, etc. With the valuable assistance of Brother 
Alfred Matthias, of whom mention has heretofore been 
made, such a book was prepared and presented at -the 
meeting of the Supreme Lodge in 1879 for its approval, 
and was directed to be printed and sent to each subordi- 
nate lodge for their instruction and guidance. This was 
the first Digest in the Order, and was of great value 
in rendering prompt and efficient conduct of the business 
affairs and in producing uniform and harmonious work- 
ings of the lodges. 

At this meeting action was taken providing for the 
setting apart as Separate Beneficiary Jurisdictions-, Ten- 
nessee, Michigan, Minnesota, California, Indiana and 

Dr. Wm. C. Richardson of Missouri, introduced a 
resolution for the appointment of a board of three duly 
qualified physicians, whose duty it should be to pass upon 
all applications for beneficiary certificates and the medical 
examiners report accompanying the application. This the 
first step pointing to the appointment of a Supreme or 
Grand Medical Supervisor, was not approved, and it 
was not until 1882 that provisions were made for such 
supervisory control in the Supreme and Grand Lodge 

Again was the matter of a Reserve Fund presented 
for consideration but it met with similar defeat as on 
the former occasion. 

A notable occurrence of this meeting was the presence 
of Father Upchurch, who at this time was a resident 


of Steelville, Mo. and had been invited to be present as 
the honored guest of the Supreme Lodge. This was 
the first meeting of the Supreme body at which he had 
been present and the cordial manner of his reception 
seemed at once to efface the regrets of the past and he 
entered in happy accord with the Order from this time 

But little legislation occurred at this meeting of es- 
sential interest to be noted herein. The laws and the 
progress of the order was in satisfactory condition and 
the utmost harmony and good feeling prevailed through- 
out the entire limits of the Society. 

I was elected Supreme Master Workman, and Su- 
preme Recorder Berry and Supreme Receiver Davis were 
le-elected for the coming year. 


In assuming the duties of Supreme Master Workman, 
March 1878, I little anticipated the momentous events 
that were to occur during my administration. The Or- 
der at this time was in a most flourishing condition, 
perfect harmony existed throughout its entire extent 
and no cloud of impending disaster obscured the clear 
sky of its prosperity. However, before the end of the 
year, a fearful epidemic of yellow fever broke out and 
in its most virulent form spreading over the Mississippi 
Valley from Memphis to the Gulf. The sanitary condi- 
tions of this section, which were bad before the war, 
were much worse thereafter, and intensified the difficulty 
of contending against the fearful ravages of the disease. . 
Only those who came into personal contact with the 


blighting influence of this disease can be let into a 
realization of the horror that paralyzed this section at 
that time. Generous contributions of money and food 
poured forth from every section of the country and from 
abroad, but the difficulty was to supply physicians and 
nurses to attend the sick. Every physician and nurse 
felt that to enter the stricken territory meant putting 
their lives in extreme peril. Further than this, at no 
previous time had the virulence of this disease been so 
manifest and medical aid was almost helpless to cope 
with it ravages. 

At this time the Grand Lodge of Tennessee had been 
set apart as a Separate Beneficiary Jurisdiction and had 
several prosperous lodges in the stricken territory. Its 
membership was only a little over two thousand, and the 
deaths from yellow T fever were forty-seven y entailing a 
liability of ninety-four thousand dollars, an amount far 
beyond the ability of the membership to pay. 

Likewise the Supreme Lodge Jurisdiction had or- 
ganized lodges in Mississippi and Arkansas a number 
of which had suffered and twenty-nine deaths had oc- 
curred from this dreaded disease, entailing a loss of 
fifty-eight thousand dollars, and like Tennessee, the mem- 
bership was only slightly in excess of two thousand and 
the financial burden too great to be met without help. 

Unfortunately with the increase of the Order in its, 
separate parts there had grown up a spirit of inde- 
pendence that tended to the repudiation of obligations 
other than such as were compassed within the limits of 
each respective Separate Jurisdiction, and no law existed! 


by which the Supreme Lodge could legally collect either 
from the Grand Lodges or Subordinate Lodges assess- 
ments to pay death claims belonging outside their own ter- 
ritorial limits. That a Jurisdiction with two thousand 
members and on the highway of prosperity should be in- 
volved in difficulty so as not to be able to meet its liabil- 
ities, was a contingency so remote that no thought had 
been given to it or provision made therefor. The yellow 
fever scourge therefore, demonstrated a weakness in the 
system of Separate Jurisdictions and called for the enact- 
ment of laws by which the whole Order could be brought 
into requisition to help any part that was unable to meet 
its obligations and preserve the credit and good name of 
the Society. 

To meet the exigency in Tennessee and the Supreme 
Lodge Jurisdiction, urgent appeals had been issued by me, 
as Supreme Master Workman, to the Order-at-large and 
while the responses at first were prompt and liberal, yet 
as the scourge continued, and the death claims increased, 
it was soon apparent that some added force must be 
applied to meet the exigency. To this end a meeting of 
all the Grand Master Workmen and Grand Recorders of 
the different jurisdictions was called, to meet in Chi- 
cago, 111. to consider what further steps could be taken 
to meet the pressing necessities of the situation. The 
Convention recognized the fact that it had no authority 
to levy assessments to meet the emergency but it unan- 
imously agreed upon a call upon each member of the 
order for the amount of two dollars and to bring the 
case directly to the attention of each brother recom- 
mended the plan of making the appeal in the form of 


a special call, in the manner of an assessment, and this 
appeal was signed by each representative present. When 
this appeal was issued, objection was made in some parts 
of the Order claiming that it was a usurpation of power 
upon the part of the executive officers and a violation 
of the laws of the Order to endeavor to collect assess- 
ments to pay death claims occurring outside of the limits 
of their own Jurisdiction. However, in most cases the 
contributions were made, and in time, 'the losses were 
paid and the two jurisdictions that had suffered so 
severely were preserved in their integrity. 

These details have been given to emphasize the ob- 
ject lesson that was thus presented to the membership 
to convince them of the necessity of the adoption of such 
laws as would provide protection for each Separate Bene- 
ficiary Jurisdiction against a contingency that for a 
time might burden it with liabilities beyond its power 
to meet and preserve its credit and prosperity. This 
seemed to be the missing link in the system to secure its 
stability and render it permanent for the future. 

Previous to the meeting of the executive officers in 
Chicago, I had perpared and had printed a proposed "Re- 
lief Law" the purpose of which was to vest in the Su- 
preme Lodge the power to collect from the Order-at- 
large, a relief fund, that at all times would be available 
to meet any contingency that might arise in any Juris- 
diction, whereby, it was unable promptly to meet its lia- 
bilities and preserve its credit. The proposed law was 
unanimously endorsed by those present, with the recom- 
mendation that it be presented to the next meeting of the 
Supreme Lodge for its consideration. 


In my report to the Supreme Lodge, March 1879, I 
urged as follows, the necessity of action on this important 
matter, and presented the proposed "Relief Law" as en- 
dorsed by the convention : 


The difficulties met by the Grand Lodge of Ohio, which 
made it necessary for it to abandon its position as a separ- 
ate beneficiary jurisdictions; the struggles which other separate 
jurisdictions have had to maintain themselves ; the effect of the 
yellow fever epidemic on the Supreme Lodge jurisdiction and 
that of Tennessee, and other matters, have called the atten- 
tion of the Order to the subject of the relation of the sev- 
eral parts of our Order to the whole, and caused much dis- 
cussion. We have reached a period in the history of the 
Order in which this whole subject needs to be carefully and 
thoughtfully considered. 

Our benericiary laws as they stand at present, are the re- 
sult of experience and careful observation, and in all the de- 
tails of their workings have proven to be thoroughly adapted 
to their purpose. I consider our system more full, perfect and 
reliable than that of any other organization, and one which 
needs little or no amendment. The feature of separate bene- 
ficiary jurisdictions, it is well known, I am a firm advocate 
of; and I would not in any way interfere with any of the 
legitimate rights now enjoyed by them under the law as it 
exists. But the questions arise: Is every part of the Order 
as fully protected as it might be? and may not an additional 
feature be devised which will add to the security of all with- 
out interference with the just rights of any? 

The protection which our Order gives to the families of 
our members is that of organized charity. It does not depend 
upon the result of special appeals, but is regulated by a sys- 
tem of laws to which the assent of all has been given. Ought 
not this principle to be extended so as to afford adequate re- 
lief to any jurisdiction of the Order which may be over- 


whelmed by an epidemic or other disaster to which all are 
liable? As the law now stands, a jurisdiction which has been 
set apart, if it suffers disaster of any kind so as to reduce its 
membership below two thousand and be unable to meet its 
obligations, falls back into the beneficiary jurisdiction of the 
Supreme Lodge. If great disasters occur, how is the Supreme 
Lodge jurisdiction to carry this weight? The Supreme Lodge, 
aside from its character as the highest legislative body of the 
Order, has a distinct character as a beneficiary jurisdiction 
for Subordinate Lodges not belonging to a Grand Lodge set 
apart as a separate beneficiary jurisdiction. The member- 
ship of the Supreme Lodge beneficiary jurisdiction is less, 
and probably always will be less, than that of many Grand 
Lodges which are set apart. Why should this membership 
bear the weight of all the misfortunes which may befall 
separate jurisdictions, and which have to surrender their 
separate rights? Are they, and suffering Grand Lodges, to 
depend upon appeals for voluntary contributions, as the only 
means of relief in case of distress? 

It seems to me that the interests of the Order require 
that some plan be devised which, without interfering with 
the just rights guaranteed by our present laws, will bring 
assistance from the whole Order to the aid of any suffering 
part. The requirements of the present emergency will be 
met by the contributions which have been, or will yet be 
made in response to the appeals issued; but in view of the 
dissatisfaction and discord which the measures taken to pro- 
duce this result have caused, would it not be wise to en- 
deavor to perfect a plan by which the relief which may be 
required at any time in the future may be obtained in a 
systematic manner, upon a fixed plan settled upon before the 
emergency arises? The Officers of the Order, who met at Chi- 
cago, recommended a plan for this purpose, which, at their 
request, I submit to your consideration. I trust you will give 
a careful consideration to this important subject in all its 
bearing. Time and opportunity should be given to the whole 
Order to consider and decide upon any plan which your judg- 


ment may approve, before it is finally acted upon; and I would 
recommend that such plan, if perfected at this session, should 
be sent to all Grand Lodges for their examination, and not en- 
acted as a law without the approval of at least a majority of 

After long and earnest consideration of the subject 
matter, the Supreme Lodge formulated a "Relief Law/' 
similar in purpose to that recommended by the convention 
of Executive Officers but varying somewhat in detail of 
administration and directed that it be printed and promul- 
gated to the order with a favorable recommendation, to 
be finally acted upon at the next meeting of the Supreme 

During the year 1878-79 rapid progress had been 
made and seventeen Grand Lodges were represented in 
the seventh meeting of the Supreme Lodge, at Nash- 
ville, Tenn., March 1879. Subordinate lodges had been 
instituted in the additional states of Massachusetts, New 
Hampsire, Colorado, Alabama, Arkansas, Oregon and 
Washington Territory. Four additional lodges had 
been organized in Ontario, Canada. 

The membership January 1, 1879 was 62,493, a net 
increase for the year of 26,607, the largest increase in 
any one year ever made by the Order. The average 
membership for the year was 49.184, the mortality rate 
6.64 and the amount paid on death claims for the year 
1878, $639,979.90. 

Again at this meeting was the subject of graded as- 
sessments brought up, but like former efforts it failed 
to receive any considerable endorsement upon the part 
of the representatives. 


The operation of the beneficiary department under 
the revised laws adopted the previous year, had proven 
most satisfactory and little change was found to be de- 

Hon. John Frizzell was elected Supreme Master 
Workman for the ensuing year, and I was elected Su- 
preme Recorder, Hon. S. S. Davis being re-elected Su- 
preme Receiver. 

The next meeting was to be held in Boston, Mass. 


The Supreme Lodge convened in its eighth annual 
meeting in Boston, Mass. March 16, 1880. Twenty 
Grand Lodges were represented. The past year had 
been one of continued prosperity, and its limits had been 
extended to most of the States and Territories from the 
Atlantic to the Pacific and from Canada to the Gulf of 
Mexico. The membership on January 1, 1880 num- 
bered 79,248, a net increase for the year 1879 °f I 6,755, 
the average being 69.877 and the mortality rate 7.51. 
The amount paid on death claims for the year 1870 was 

The Order was extremely fortunate in having had 
as its executive head during this year, a man of the ad- 
mirable qualifications to meet the exigences of condi- 
tions as possessed by Judge Frizzell. Under the di- 
rection of the last Supreme Lodge, each Grand Lodge 
was called upon to pay its quota of the amount necessary 
to liquidate the yellow fever losses, and the penalty at- 
tached in case of noncompliance was suspension. This 
with the additional proposed amendment to the laws, 


to enact a permanent Relief Law by which each juris- 
diction would be secured from a burden greater than it 
could bear, and still retain its growth and prosperity, 
caused much agitation throughout the Order and in a 
few cases an opon revolt. It, therefore, took a firm but 
conciliatory spirit like that possessed by Judge Frizzell 
to cope with these unfortunate conditions. This was 
the second crucial test the Order was called on to pass 
through and upon its solution rested, in a great measure, 
not only its prosperity but possibly its perpetuity. 

Supreme Master Workman Frizzell in promulgating 
the action of the Supreme Lodge in directing the issu- 
ance of assessments to prpvide payment of the yellow 
fever claims, and the proposed permanent relief law is- 
sued a circular letter from which the following extracts 
are taken : 

"Circular Letter, — To the Members of the A. O. U. W. : Ap- 
preciating the interest felt in the action of the Supreme 
Lodge, at its late meeting, making an assessment on the 
Order at large, to meet yellow fever losses, the following 
points are presented for your consideration in this con- 

1. Article VI., Constitution of the Supreme Lodge pro- 
vides, that "when a Grand Lodge shall have under its jur- 
isdiction two thousand Master Workman degree members, 
in good standing, such Grand Lodge may petition the Su- 
preme Lodge to be set apart as a separate beneficial juris- 
diction, with power to collect and disburse, within itself, the 
Beneficiary Fund, subject to and in accordance with the gen- 
eral laws, rules and regulations of the Supreme Lodge." 

The following conditions are also specified in said Article: 
1. Such Grand Lodge shall be responsible for all assessments 
made on deaths occurring before separation; all lossses oc- 


curring before that time to be paid by the Supreme Lodge. 
2. Such Grand Lodge not to be entitled to any surplus in 
the Beneficiary Fund of the Supreme Lodge after paying 
losses occurring before the separation. 3. Such Grand Lodge, 
when so set apart, shall manage, within itself, the beneficiary 
department, assessing, collecting, and disbursing the Bene- 
ficiary Fund in accordance with, and governed by, the gen- 
eral laws and usages prescribed by the Supreme Lodge, and 
no alteration of such laws shall be made except by the Su- 
preme Lodge. 4. Requiring certain reports to be made to the 
Supreme Lodge. 5. When the membership under the juris- 
diction of the such Grand Lodge shall fall below two thousand, 
it shall, immediately, come under the control of the Su- 
preme Lodge. 

It will thus be seen that these provisions do not contem- 
plate independent jurisdictions but to avoid the risk attend- 
ing the accumulation of so large a sum of money as would 
result if all assessments were paid to the same officer, and in 
order that the more healthful States and communities may, 
as far as possible, enjoy this advantage, and those living 
in less favorable localities may bear their own burdens, as 
far as practicable, separate beneficial jurisdictions are pro- 
vided for; that is, jurisdictions "set apart from a number 
for a particular service." This arrangement may be likened 
to the government of the United States. The different State 
governments are separate and distinct, for certain purposes, 
and possess certain powers, but to the General Government 
is reserved the power, and it exercises the right to pre- 
scribe laws for the preservation of the national existence, 
and for the protection of the rights of all the people and of 
every individual citizen. 

The provisions contained in Article VI, above mentioned, 
must be regarded as wise and salutary. When properly un- 
derstood, they give to our Order largely the advantage over 
similar institutions; for, while the Supreme Lodge reserves 
the right to do that which may be necessary to protect and 
defend the whole Order, and every individual member, from 


casualties which may occur involving the very existence of 
the Order in some locality, and destroying the benefit to 
which the individual is entitled, there are preserved all the 
advantages which ought to result to particular localities from 
separate action, so that, under ordinary circumstances, each 
jurisdiction is secured in the advantage accruing from such 

The separate beneficial jurisdictions have power to col- 
lect and disburse, and to manage, within themselves, the 
Beneficiary Fund, but this can only be done, subject to and in 
accordance with the general laws, rules and regulations of the 
Supreme Lodge, or, as expressed in another place, in accord- 
ance with, and governed by, the general laws and usages 
prescribed by the Supreme Lodge. 

The power to prescribe rules and regulations and to pass 
general laws, binding these separate jurisdictions as well as 
the whole Order, is thus reserved to the Supreme Lodge in 
plain and unmistakable language. 

The Supreme Lodge may, from time to time pass such 
laws and prescribe such rules and regulations as it may deem 
proper and necessary for the welfare of the Order, and may 
alter, amend, or abrogate^ the same. (See also Article XI, 
Constitution of Supreme Lodge.) 

The action of the Supreme Lodge is binding upon the 
whole Order, because it is the court of last resort — there be- 
ing no power in the Order authorized to review or overrule 
its judgments and acts. 

The views here presented may not accord with that en- 
tertained by some of the brethren, but it is, nevertheless, 
the clear provisions of our laws. It may not be in harmony 
with the teachings, heretofore, of some of the officers of the 
Supreme Lodge, but it is, beyond question, not only in ac- 
cordance with the spirit, but the very letter, of our Consti- 

The Supreme Lodge, for the first time, took action upon 
this subject at its late meeting in Nashville, and whatever 
may have been thought in regard thereto by others hereto- 


fore, the action taken is an unequivocal expression on the 
part of the Supreme Lodge. This expression, too, comes 
from a body three-fourths of the votes of which were from 
separate jurisdictions. It may be said also that the rights 
of separate jurisdictions will be jealously watched and pro- 
tected by the Supreme Lodge. Separate jurisdictions will 
always, so far as can now be seen, have an overwhelming 
preponderance of power in the Supreme Lodge. 

This reservation of power in the Supreme Lodge is also 
shown by the fact that provision is made when a separate 
jurisdiction falls below two thousand members, it shall at 
once come under the control of the Supreme Lodge, which, 
as the head of the order, agrees that every member who 
holds out faithful shall be secured in the protection promised. 
Should the Supreme Lodge jurisdiction, that is, the member- 
ship under the immediate jurisdiction of the Supreme Lodge, 
fall below two thousand, it must of necessity, look to the Or- 
der at large for the payment of its death losses and the pro- 
tection of its members. * * * * 

3. The power of the Supreme Lodge to make special 
assessments upon the whole order, is so clearly set forth, 
also, in other portions of the Constitution, that no doubt 
need be entertained by those who will take the trouble to 

In Section 1, Article IV., it is declared that the Supreme 
Lodge, when properly convened, "has original and exclusive 
jurisdiction over all subjects pertaining to the welfare of the 
Order;" and that "under these restrictions" — that is to say, 
"when convened agreeably to the provisions of this Constitu- 
tion" — it may "do all things right and proper for the pro- 
motion of the honor, dignity, and welfare of the Order." 

Stronger and more specific language could hardly be used. 
The Supreme Lodge may do any and everything which it 
may deem right and proper for the promotion of the honor, 
dignity, and welfare of the Order. It is the sole judge of 
what the honor, dignity, and welfare of the Order may re- 
quire, and it may do that which in its opinion, is thus re- 


quired. There is no power to reverse its action. Its decisions 
are final and conclusive. No authority, but itself, can recon- 
sider or undo what it has done. That this is so, seems so 
plain that argument is unnecessary. And this is, in the very 
nature of our institution, a necessity. The organization must 
have a head, a controlling power, a chief executive and legis- 
lative body, whose acts ana decisions are final and conclusive, 
otherwise conflicts and discords innumerable would result, 
and our form of government be mere child's play, indeed, a 
mockery, affording no protection whatever to its mem- 
bers. * * * * 

A number of formulated proposals for a permanent 
Relief Fund were presented to the Supreme Lodge at 
this meeting, one by Supreme Master Workman Frizzell, 
following closely that recommended by the Supreme 
Lodge at its last meeting and which received the en- 
dorsement of the committee to which this matter had 
been referred. 

After several days of earnest and thoughtful consid- 
eration, and minor amendments, a Relief Fund law was 
enacted, the purpose of which is enunciated in the first 
Section thereof as follows : 

Applicable to the whole Order, providing relief to over- 
burdened jurisdictions. 

Section 1. To protect each beneficiary jurisdiction of the 
Order from exigencies which may arise, increasing its death 
rate to an extent which would make assessments for a time 
oppressive upon its membership, and beyond the maximum 
fixed by this article for such jurisdiction; to strengthen and 
sustain the Order, and enable it to meet every emergency 
by giving the assistance of the whole to any part suffering 
from an epidemic or other calamity, a relief Fund shall be 
raised, managed, and disbursed as provided in this Article." 

The main points in the law were : i. The fund to con- 


sist of one dollar for each member of the Order. 2. 
Vesting in a Relief Board consisting of the Supreme 
Master Workman, Supreme Recorder, Supreme Re- 
ceiver and the Chairman of the Supreme Lodge Finance 
Committee and Supreme Lodge Committee on Laws and 
Supervision, power to superintend in accordance with 
and governed by the rules and regulations of the Su- 
preme Lodge, the collection, management and disburse- 
ment of the Relief Fund. 3. A maximum annual rate 
of assessment was established for each jurisdiction of 
the Order, and relief was to be extended whenever such 
maximum number of assessments had been collected 
and applied and there still remained death claims un- 
provided for. 4. Whenever the fund became depleted 
by reason of relief extended, it was to be replenished by 
assessments. 5. Assessments for the Relief Fund were 
to be made same as assessments for the Beneficiary 
Fund and all laws relative to suspensions, etc. applied 
with equal force in one case as in the other. 6. A jur- 
isdiction receiving relief was required to continue to col- 
lect its full maximum of assessments each succeeding 
year for a term of three years and if a surplus existed 
after providing for its own death claims, it was to pay 
such surplus to the Relief Fund to the amount of the 
relief extended, otherwise the debt was to be cancelled 
at the end of the three years period. 

The maximum rate as fixed in this law was based 
upon statistics of mortality gathered from the experience 
of the Odd Fellows organization and the L'nited States 
Census of 1870. 

In succeeding years the Supreme Lodge made 


various changes in these maximum rates and otherwise 
changed the laws as to collecting and disbursing a relief 
fund but for a period of over twenty-five years and until 
1906 a system of relief was continued until more than 
thirteen million dollars was paid to assist jurisdictions 
that became overburdened. 

The interest of the Supreme Lodge at this meeting 
centered mainly in the consideration and final adoption 
of the Relief Law and no other change in the Laws, 
necessary to be noted here, were made. 

The policy of the Order as well as its system of 
operation had at this period settled into a condition of 
apparent permanency. The Relief Law had provided 
the missing link in the system and centralized in the 
Supreme Lodge the power to preserve each separate part 
in its integrity, thus protecting the credit and good name 
of the Order everywhere. 

At this meeting was first introduced one who in the 
future history of the A. O. U. W. was to assume 
prominence as a leader surpassed by no other in the 
councils of that society and whose ability and efforts in 
the broader field of promoting the interests of co-opera- 
tive mutual protection as represented by the Fraternal 
Beneficiary Societies has received general recognition. 
We refer to Rev. W. Warne Wilson of Detroit, Mich, of 
whom further reference will be made hereafter. 

Roderick Rose of Iowa was elected Supreme Master 
Workman for the ensuing year and M. W. Sackett and 
S. S. Davis re-elected to the respective offices of Su- 
preme Recorder and Supreme Receiver. 

It was the original intention of the writer of this 



short history to extend the same covering only the period 
of time in which the Ancient Order of United Workmen 
was the sole occupant of the field, and to trace in a limit- 
ed measure, the extension of its influence in the or- 
ganization of other Societies of like character but in 
reaching this point, it was apparent that to end the his- 
tory of the A. O. U. W. before the adoption of the Re- 
lief Law would convey a wrong impression of the unity 
of the Order, to those who were not conversant with its 
system of operation as finally perfected in 1880, and 
therefore it was continued to that date. 

The subsequent history of the A. O. U. W. for thir- 
ty-four years, to the present time, is left to be written by 
some one whose ability transcends that of the present 
writer. The published records of the Supreme Lodge 
from this time forward are very full and complete, in 
which are carefully noted the yearly progress made in 
each of its separate departments, reaching the zenith of 
its numerical strength in 1902 with a membership of 
four hundred and fifty-one thousand, five hundred and 

Like practically all other Fraternal Beneficiary Soci- 
eties the A. O. U. W. has had to pass through the 
crucial test of readjustment of rates and while it has met 
with a diminution in membership, still it has retained its 
vitality in most of its Jurisdictions which are now on a 
solvent basis with provisions for ample reserves to secure 
their perpetuity. Its co-operative benefactions up to the 
present have aggregated over Two Hundred and Fifty 
Millions Dollars and more than One Hundred and Sev- 
enty-five Thousand deceased brothers' widows and or- 


phans have been protected and life's burdens made easier 
by its ministrations. This has been a noble work and 
reflects lasting credit upon the society that first inaug- 
urated the movement as well as upon those Pioneer Fath- 
ers who planted a seed the vital force of which they but 
little realized. 

It may be of interest to those who peruse these pages 
to have some further knowledge of the personal history 
of those who have been specially mentioned as promi- 
nent in the early years of the history of the A. O. U. W. 


John Jordan Upchurch died at his home in the vil- 
lage of Steelville, Missouri, January 18, 1887, at the age 
of sixty-six years. 

At the meeting of the Supreme Lodge, A. O. U. W., 
June, 1887, the Supreme Master Workman was directed 
to select a person to write a biographical sketch of 
Father Upchurch, to be presented at the memorial ser- 
vices of that body the following year. William H. 
James, of Philadelphia, a Past Grand Master Workman 
of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, was appointed to 
this service. After careful research he gathered the 
following facts as to the life of Brother Upchurch: 

J. J. Upchurch was born in Franklin County, in the State of 
North Carolina, March 26, 1820. When four and a half years 
old, his father, Ambrose Upchurch, was murdered, and the 
farm upon which they lived was taken from the family by de- 
signing men, and the widow was compelled to support herself 
and her four children by resorting to the needle. When nino 
years of age he removed to the home of his paternal grand- 
father, where he received such schooling as the scant educa- 


tional facilities of the neighborhood afforded, having to go 
three miles to and from school. At fourteen he was employed 
as a boy in a country store. In 1836 he was laboring upon the 
farm which his paternal grandfather had purchased for his 
mother. In 1837 he commenced learning the trade of mill- 
wright, but the heavy work and his poor health compelled him 
to relinquish that and became an apprentice to the carpenter 
trade, continuing in it, however, but a short time, when he be- 
came a clerk in a store. 

On June 1, 1841, he was married to Miss Angelina Green, a 
niece of John Zeigenfuss, of Bethlehem, Pa., who was at that 
time a contractor on the Raleigh and Gaston Railroad. With 
Mr. Zeigenfuss he opened a hotel in Raleigh, N. C. In 1842 he 
and Mr. Zeigenfuss joined the Washingtonian Society, and 
then conducted their hotel on temperance principles; the first 
of the kind he alleges, south of Mason & Dixon's line. In 1844 
the hotel was closed for want of patronage, and Upchurch ac- 
cepted a position as assistant depot agent in the freight de- 
partment of the Raleigh and Gaston Railroad, and for awhile, 
in 1844 and 1845, he was an engineer on a locomotive of a 
passenger train of that road. 

In December, 1845, he endeavored to obtain employment in 
Charleston, S. C, but was sadly disappointed. For awhile he 
traveled through South Carolina and Georgia, giving lessons in 
horse-training and taming, trading and selling horses, until 
October, 1846, when, with his wife and child, he removed to 
Bethlehem, Pa. 

In February of 1847 Upchurch secured the position of 
superintendent of a large flouring and saw-mill at Lock Haven, 
Pa. After that he worked in Harrisburg and Reading, and 
finally obtained a position in the shops of the Philadelphia 
and Reading Railroad, which he held for two years. 

In 1849, he was employed by the Catasauqua Iron Works 
in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, and afterwards by the Mine 
Hill and Schuylkill Haven Railroad Company. In 1851 he was 


appointed foreman, and in 1852 promoted to that of master 
mechanic, a position he held for thirteen years. 

In 1864 he was offered the position of superintendent of an 
oil company, and removed to Petroleum Center, Venango 
County, Pa. 

The operation in oil proved unsuccessful, and in February, 
1866, he was tendered the position of master mechanic of the 
Alabama and Florida Railroad, located at Montgomery, Ala. 
He remained there until November of that year, when, be- 
coming sick and disheartened, he returned north again and 
was employed a few weeks at the Baldwin Locomotive Works 
at Philadelphia, and then in April, 1867, removed to Altoona, 
where he was engaged in the shops of the Pennsylvania Rail- 
road Company. 

In April of 1868 he removed to Meadville, Pa., where he ob- 
tained employment in the shops of the Atlantic and Great 
Western Railroad Company. In addition to his daily toils, he 
here taught machine drawing in the evenings. 

In the fall of 1869 he was placed in charge of the shops of 
that company at Leavittsburgh, Ohio, and remained there until 
the fall of 1872, when the shops were closed, and he again 
removed to Meadville, Pa. 

In March of 1873 he was appointed master mechanic of the 
St. Louis, Salem and Little Rock Railroad, and placed in 
charge of the shops at Steelville, Mo. 

This position he held until 1875, when he resigned, and for 
nine months kept a store in Steelville, and was then appointed 
superintendent of the Cuba Planing Mill Company, and re- 
moved to Cuba, Mo. He remained there but a short time, when 
he removed to East St. Louis, and took charge of the round- 
house of the Cairo and St. Louis Railroad. 

His failing health compelled him to relinquish all em- 
ployment for a while, and in 1877 he rented a farm and tried 
that occupation for a year. 

In 1879 he was given the position of superintending the pile 
drivers on the bridge work of the St. Louis and Council Bluffs 


Railroad until the work was completed, when in 1880 he was 
employed in the shops at Moberly, Mo. 

From thence he removed to Oil City, Pa., where he obtained 
a situation in the shops of the Oil Well Supply Company. He 
remained but a short time, when he removed to Franklin, Pa., 
and was employed in Emery's machine shops, but dullness of 
business discouraged him, and he removed again to Sedalia, 
Mo., and obtained work in the shops of the Missouri Pacific 

His failing health again compelled him to relinquish work 
in the fall of that year. 

In 1881 he removed again to Steelville, Mo., and opened an 
undertaker's office and lumber yard. 

In 1883 he purchased an interest in a store and stock of 
general merchandise, which was carried on for eighteen 
months, when he sold out. 

In 1885 he purchased a patent right in a new harrow, and 
in connection with the business of dealing in agricultural im- 
plements and acting as undertaker, he commenced manufac- 
turing harrows, and continued in this business until his 

After a short illness he died, January 18, 1887, and was 
buried in Bellefontaine Cemetery, St. Louis, by the loving 
hands of the brethren of the Grand Lodge Jurisdiction of Mis- 
souri, with all the impressive ceremonies due to him who had 
won the right of such a tribute from those who had been bene- 
fited by his genius and labors. He left surviving him his faith- 
ful life companion and five children — all boys. Fifteen chil- 
dren — eleven boys and four girls — had been born to Brother 
Upchurch. At the time of his death he was a member in good 
standing in Franklin Lodge, No. 3, of the Jurisdiction of Penn- 

These are the simple facts of a life of over forty years of 
thought and toil. They mark a man of many traits of char- 
acter not belonging to the successful business man. By them 
we learn that the founder of the A. O. U. W. could never aspire 


to the position of a money magnate. They exhibit Upchurch 
more as a man whose hands evinced their own cunning, while 
the mind was busy on what a steadier plodder and home-stayer 
would call dreams and vagaries. Yet we find in the charac- 
teristics of Upchurch the man of warm affections, conscien- 
tious integrity, retiring modesty, and only self-asserting when 
to do so was to uphold principles of which he was a part or 
the care of which had been placed upon him by others. 

The circumstance that brings the name of Upchurch so 
prominently before our Order — in fact, before the whole coun- 
try — and which makes it immortal, is the institution of the 
A. O. U. W., the pioneer Order of its kind, and still the larg- 
est. (1888.) 

The biography of Upchurch cannot be written without 
writing that of the A. O. U. W. The biography of one is that 
of the other. They are one, co-extensive and equal. 

After reviewing in short detail the progress of the 
Order from its inception to the time of the death of Up- 
church, the report closes with the following tribute to the 
memory of the founder of the Order. 

Upon the extinction of the Upchurch wing of the Order, by 
its absorption in the united body, the active participation of 
Upchurch in the affairs of the Order may be said to have prac- 
tically ceased, and we no longer find him taking an active part 
either in the control of the Order or in shaping its legislation. 
The consolidated Grand Lodge of the united Order did not rep- 
resent the ideal Grand Lodge of Upchurch. 

The primary motive in the Order was not the ideal motive 
which he had so fondly hoped and labored to promote. That 
which may be considered incidental to the organization had to 
a great extent absorbed the other objects, and Upchurch saw, 
with sorrow, his ideal of a union of capital and labor for 
mutual advantage placed in the background. 

When the Supreme Lodge met in Pittsburgh in 1874, the 
platform of the objects of the Order was materially changed, 


and the beneficiary idea was given all prominence. The secret 
work of the Order was also subjected to a complete change and 
a new form of initiation substituted, and new lectures inserted. 

So great were the changes that had been wrought, that he 
felt the old landmarks were completely obliterated, and he 
could hardly recognize his handiwork, or that the Order was 
the child of his earnest thought and labor. He even ques- 
tioned whether it would be right to hang his photograph in a 
lodge of the A. O. U. W. as its founder. For many years he 
would not even accept the beneficiary certificate, but allowed 
it to remain in the hands of the Grand Recorder of Penn- 

But when Upchurch planted this Order he planted two 
seeds side by side. 

The one he hoped would grow up into the strong, hearty 
stalwart tree, while the other would be its companion and 
supporter. They sprang up and grew together, but the one for 
which his fondest hopes went out became dwarfed and stunted, 
while the other grew in after years to be the great banyan 
tree, spreading its branches and dropping here and there a 
tendril, which, taking root, became another tree, separate and 
independent in its life purpose, yet all joined together, under 
whose thick foliage and umbrageous shade an army has en- 
camped. What though the main trunk, in giving life and 
succor, may have sapped and impaired its vitality, shall not 
the whole tree, as one enduring mass, remain for ages and 
steadfastly resist the fiercest storms of adversity and the 
thunders of treachery? 

Having removed from the abode of the lodges he had estab- 
lished, and the Order he had founded, yet too small to attract 
national attention, and occupied with the trials and struggles 
of his business life, he appears to have been left alone in a 
far-away land, and to have become in a measure indifferent 
to the scenes and struggles of his efforts to establish the 
great dream and hope of his life. 

Like some abandoned officer of a great and richly-freighted 


vessel, he stood on the lonely shore of his stranding, while the 
refluent waves and disporting winds drifted the ship of home 
and his fondest hopes out to the declining horizon of the wav- 
ing waters. 

Hull and masts are hidden behind the great decline of the 
rounded surface, and his straining eyes no longer saw the flag 
at the topmost peak of the highest mast. He sent out signals 
beseeching them to return, but received no response. He looked 
about to rebuild a vessel with which to again breast the ocean 
of public opinion. He still felt that he could yet establish what 
he had intended to build when he constructed his first vessel. 
But he had laid a longer keel and affixed broader ribs and 
braces than had entered into his plans. He may be said to 
have well nigh abandoned all hope after the last vestige of 
his gallant ship had been lost to sight. But what is that he 
saw far out on the ocean? 

It was the signal from faithful servitors on his own ship. 
Far over the rolling waves they cast out the golden chain of 
brotherhood links, to lead back and hold the venerated builder 
and freighter of the gallant ship. Its white sails appeared in 
the far-off distance, angry waves of opposition and calumny 
roared and rolled about her, but she gallantly rode them down, 
and again approached the shore where the old captain had 
been stranded, until all dangers past, she again received him 
on her decks amidst huzzas of gladness and greetings of 
great joy. 

So we see him in his isolation, while the new men who suc- 
ceeded him broadened and deepened the foundations and raised 
higher the noble structure he had begun. Away from the con- 
tact with the work they were doing, not familiar with the rea- 
sons for the changes they were making, for awhile, even out- 
side the privileges of his own brotherhood, he despaired of his 
own humane thoughts and hopes being fulfilled, and even 
thought of beginning anew the work he believed his followers 
had abandoned. 

The world of his every-day life was so narrow, he had 


thought the great principles of protection, founded on a life of 
usefulness and charity, would only be successful when applied 
to the lives of those he best knew. Unconsciously he had 
applied living and profound principles to a new direction, and 
could not understand that these fitted the lives of all mankind 
who acknowledged the great laws of labor and its rewards. 

During the five years which succeeded his severance from 
the legislative and executive life of the Order, great changes 
in all its machinery had been made. No new principle had 
been added to it. No vital or essential element had been 
taken away from it, but he had ceased to know it as he had 
known it. 

One of the most pathetic of all the incidents of this period 
is his attempt to enter a lodge of the A. O. U. W. in St. Louis. 
It had been organized under the new changes, and none had 
knowledge of the old work. He knocked and was not ad- 
mitted. His efforts to prove himself but brought suspicion upon 
him, and he sadly turned away from a fraternal home which 
owed its very existence to his brain and his labor. In a city, 
which afterwards so honored him living, and so tenderly laid 
him within their beautiful mural home, with draped plumes 
and sombre woe, when dead, but a few short years before, an 
unknown stranger, he had been turned away from the door 
of a lodge of the Order he had founded. 

The meeting of the Supreme Lodge in that city in 1878 was 
the return of the ship to the shore on which the old builder 
and captain laid stranded. To this meeting he was heartily 
welcomed. The place of honor was accorded to him. He 
there heard the new changes discussed and their great objects 
explained. Then his mind was opened, and he saw with that 
clear and hopeful sense which conceived of the great scheme 
for humanity, and grasped the fact that what was thought to 
be an abandonment of his first central ideas was only giving 
them the full scope and intent their real purport required. 

From this time he was again the wise counselor and vener- 
ated founder. While not seeking active service in any depart- 


ment, he was ever welcome to all the council boards. His great 
heart warmed to youthful ardor at the tenth anniversary of 
the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania. He was made the perma- 
nent sitting Past Supreme Master Workman, and was at each 
meeting of the Supreme Lodge. 

The open-handed, large-hearted brethren of the golden coast 
conveyed him across the continent, where the warmth of his 
reception exceeded the sunlight and geniality of the favored 
land of the Pacific. The plaudits of her noble men, the smiles 
and hospitality of her beautiful women were showered upon 
this man whose work had saved so many homes from the 
blacker desolation of destitution when death had blasted them 
and brought widowhood and orphanage. From the peaks of 
the Rocky Mountains Upchurch looked east and west over 
the mighty expanse of the Continent, and how his heart must 
have swelled with gratitude, when thinking that thickly 
planted over all that space were homes to which he was 
thrice welcome. No more loneliness now, no fear now that his 
efforts had been in vain. His words were full of grateful 
acknowledgement and modest acceptance of the brotherly and 
filial affection and esteem in which the Order regarded him. 
As seen before a large audience for the last time, he was still 
the same modest, plain man of his humble and unknown days. 
In the humble homes and workshop, as in the midst of thou- 
sands of applauding friends, he shone alike, the honest and 
unselfishman. Advancing years and accumulated honors but 
broadened and mellowed the higher and stronger parts of his 
nature, until, like ripened fruit, he fell into the lap of his 
mother earth. 

There have been those who have changed the destiny of 
nations and recast the maps of the world. In their day they 
received loud plaudits. History, with impartial and unspar- 
ing hand, holds them to rigid account for what of wrong or 
oppression they wrought. Not so with those who have added 
new sources of help to the people and have recast the maps of 
social life. The errors they may have made, the stumblings 


and fallings of their upward march, are not remembered, be- 
cause over all and greater than all are the blighted homes 
reconstructed, the widows' cares lessened and their grief 
assuaged, the orphans' want relieved, and destitution banished 
from thousands of thresholds. The shadows of the wings of 
mercy, silvered with the glintings from the great white throne 
itself, are spread over the memory of such men, and they are 
only blessed. 

The Order has not been unmindful of its obligations 
to its founder either in honor extended or in pecuniary 
assistance when he was in need. Sometime after moving 
to Steelville, Mo., Upchurch became involved in financial 
difficulties and was about to lose his home when the 
Order in Pennsylvania raised about three thousand dol- 
lars and donated it to him to relieve his distress. After 
his death the Order at large contributed a fund, approxi- 
mating eight thousand dollars, from which Mrs. Up- 
church was paid a monthly annuity of fifty dollars up to 
the time of her death. 

The Missouri Jurisdiction erected a beautiful and 
costly monument in his memory. 


Died at his home in Chicago, 111., February 24, 1908, 
at the age of seventy years. 

The Supreme Lodge, A. O. U. W., directed the fol- 
lowing memorial page inserted in its records: 


He was the associate of Father Upchurch in the organiza- 
tion of Jefferson Lodge No. 1 — the first lodge of the Order — at 
Meadville, Pennsylvania, October 27, 1868. He was a Repre- 
sentative at the formation of the Supreme Lodge in 1873, and 


was elected the first Supreme Master Workman of the Order. 
During the early years of the Order's history he was a promi- 
nent and efficient factor in the propogation of the new thought 
compassed in the teachings of Co-operative Brotherhood as ex- 
emplified in the Ancient Order of United Workmen. His zeal 
never faltered and his interest continued active in the Order 
he loved" so well up to the date of his death. 

The following eulogy pronounced by Past Supreme 
Master Workman Tate, of Nebraska, is a worthy tribute 
to the memory of one to whom the Fraternal Beneficiary 
Societies of this country owe a debt of gratitude, second 
only to that of the founder of the system of co-operative 

Brother William Washington Walker was born February 
28, 1838, near Belfast, Ireland. Of his earlier years we know 
nothing. When but 15 years of age he left home to visit rela- 
tives in this country and never afterwards returned to his 
native land. 

From 1853 to 1861 young Walker spent his time learning 
the machinist trade, his specialty being locomotive and marine 
engine construction. 

In 1861 the sound of war fell on his listening ears, and 
though of foreign birth, his heart was stirred by his adopted 
country's peril and he enlisted in Birdsall's Independent Cav- 
alry and marched with McClelland into West Virginia. He 
was soon afterwards transferred to the artillery, in which 
branch of his country's service he remained until 1863, when 
he was transferred to the naval service and joined the Mississ- 
ippi Squadron. In the engagement at Johnsonville, on the 
Tennessee river he was dangerously wounded and lost the sight 
of his right eye. Recovering his general health he returned to 
duty and served his country until March, 1865, when he was 
honorably "mustered out" and returned to civil life. Dur- 
ing the seven years following he was a resident of Meadville, 
Pennsylvania. Here he became identified with the A. O. U. W. 


and had a prominent place in the founding and upbuilding. 
He served as Master Workman and Recorder of Jefferson 
Lodge No. 1 of Meadville. He was acting Grand Recorder of 
the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania and the first Supreme Mas- 
ter Workman of the Order. 

He organized lodges in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois and 

From the day of his initiation as a Workman until the day 
of his death he was a faithful and consistent member of our 

Of a retiring disposition, he soon fell behind in the march 
toward power and position in our order, but making no com- 
plaint, and content to be but a doorkeeper in the temple he 
had done much toward building, he remained, throughout his 
whole life of membership a faithful, unassuming brother. His 
home life was serene as a summer morning. To him it was a 
veritable Heaven. There, with his wife and three daughters, 
he shared life's joys and hid its sorrows from public gaze. 

Early in life he joined the Presbyterian church and re- 
mained in its fellowship until called to the church above. 

He accepted without question the great doctrines of that 
church, and quietly but persistently and consistently lived in 
the spirit of the truths he believed. Always moving, he was 
seldom in a hurry. Refusing to halt, he was careful to neither 
jostle nor crowd. To him the "kindly light" was more than 
a mere lantern. It was a sunburst, soul filling, world re- 

Of this world's goods he possessed but little. Too poor to 
meet the advancing rates of his increasing years, he was com- 
pelled to reduce the amount of protection he carried in the 
Order he did so much to foster. Poor as he was his vision did 
not stop at the palaces of the rich. Far off he saw the hasten- 
ing providences of God his Father, and instead of being en- 
vious of others' prosperity, he became the patient, but confi- 
dent heir to promised "daily bread," here, and a "room" in 
his Father's mansion in the skies. 


The writer of this history of the early years of the 
A. O. U. W. has always felt that while Upchurch was 
justly entitled to the honor of being the founder of the 
Order, yet that the assistance rendered by his associate, 
Walker, had been such as had enabled him to bring 
into concrete and more practical form the co-operative 
measures sought to be established. They were both at 
first in accord with the objects sought to be attained as 
heretofore outlined, but as the Order advanced and the 
minor or incidental object became the controlling one, 
Walker at once recognized the change as a wise and 
practical one to be followed, while Upchurch felt disap- 
pointed and aggrieved and for years withdrew from 
active co-operation in the propagation of the Order. 

The Supreme Lodge was not unmindful of the obli- 
gations the Order was under to Brother Walker and in 
his old age and when in need, a like annuity was paid 
to him as to the family of Father Upchurch. 


was born in Virginia June 22, 1827, and died at his home 
in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, November 20, 1909, aged 82 
years and nearly five months. He joined the Upchurch 
wing of the Order, at the organization of Friendship 
Lodge No. 9, located at New Castle, Pa., in 1872. He 
was a member of the committee that was instrumental 
in reuniting the Order in 1873, and was a delegate to and 
participated in the formation of the Supreme Lodge, 
which occurred the same year. He was elected Grand 
Recorder of the Jurisdiction of Pennsylvania in 1875 and 
served in that office for thirty-two consecutive years, and 


until failing health required his resignation. He was 
elected and served as Supreme Master Workman for the 
year 1875-76. 

He was imbued with a staunch loyalty to Father 
Upchurch, and the fraternal side of the Order was ever 
his theme in addresses to the Lodges in which he became 
known as the "Old War Horse" of Pennsylvania. In 
the Supreme Lodge he was particularly noted as the 
author of a ritual in 1875 an d accompanying odes, which 
latter are still in use in the Order. 

Ed. E. Hohmann, the present Supreme Overseer of 
the Order, in closing his eulogy on the death of Brother 
McNair says : 

"We shall never forget the many fraternal lessons learned 
from his lips nor shall we ever forget his strong right arm 
and how it sustained us during the two years that we served 
as Grand Master Workman. In this day of selfishness his 
character stands out as an oasis in the desert. The world was 
made better because he lived and we know that his soul is 
now in the mansion of his Father and when he entered there 
he was met with the gladsome message of "welcome to the 
home that has been prepared for you." 


Died at his home in Franklin, Pennsylvania, No- 
vember 13, 1895. He was a close personal friend of 
Father Upchurch, and his loyalty to him through the 
early troubles that culminated in a separation of the 
Order, was constant and pronounced. After the union 
was effected, however, Brother Myers joined in hearty 
accord and became a zealous supporter of the new lines 
of operation adopted by the Society. From the eulogy 


pronounced by Past Supreme Master Workman Mc- 
Nair we quote : 

"We place the name of Past Supreme Master Workman 
Samuel B. Myers, of Pennsylvania, close to that of his illus- 
trious colleague of those earlier and formative days. Brother 
Samuel B. Myers became a member of Franklin Lodge, No. 3, 
of Franklin, Pa., in the year 1871. He at once became an earn- 
est and aggressive worker on all the lines of the Order. Pass- 
ing the chairs of the Subordinate Lodge, he entered the Grand 
Lodge, and in 1874 he served his Grand Lodge as Grand Mas- 
ter Workman. His term was signalized by great progress and 
general prosperity. He entered the Supreme Lodge in 1875, 
and was made a member of the Committee on Laws and Super- 
vision. This committee was charged with the duties hereto- 
fore mentioned, and reported to the next meeting of the Su- 
preme Lodge. At the meeting of the Supreme Lodge held in 
1877, he was elected Supreme Master Workman, and served 
with great efficiency. His full services in the Supreme Lodge 
extended through the years 1875, 1876, 1878, 1880, 1881, 1882 
and 1884. During the years 1878, 1881 and 1882, he served 
upon the Committee of Appeals and Grievances. 

"As a Workman, Brother Myers was distinguished for his 
untiring zeal and devotion to the principles of our Order, and 
was a valuable assistant in shaping our most important legis- 
lation during the years of his service. He was inclined to and 
believed in a vigorous enforcement of our laws, and yet he 
was of a kind and fraternal disposition. He was aggressive in 
contention, but gentle in victory." 


was born September 8, 1829, in Bedford County, Ten- 
nessee and died November 30, 1894, at his home in 
Nashville, Tenn. Extended reference in these pages has 
already been made to Brother Frizzell, noting the valu- 
able service rendered by him to the Order. Possibly no 


more expressive words could be employed to express the 
high appreciation in which he was held than those em- 
ployed by Supreme Master Workman Troy, in the offi- 
cial announcement of his death : 

Office of Supreme Master Workman, A. 0. U. W. 

Chicago, III., Dec 1, 1894. 
To the Members of the Ancient Order of United Wo-rkmen: 

Brethren: It is with feelings of deepest sorrow that I 
officially announce to you the death of our well-beloved brother, 
Past Supreme Master Workman John Frizzell. 

He died at his home in Nashville, Tenn., on Friday evening, 
Nov. 30, 1894. 

For more than a year past he has battled bravely with the 
disease that was slowly but surely sapping away his vitality. 
The end came not unexpectedly, but none the less to the great 
sorrow of his devoted wife and family, and to the great body 
of Workmen, in whose cause he has so long efficiently and 
faithfully labored. 

His work is indelibly stamped upon nearly every page of 
our history, and will ever remain a monument to testify to 
his wisdom in shaping the policy and securing the unprece- 
dented success of our Order. 

In recognition of his valuable services, the Supreme Lodge 
at its last session, by unanimous vote, extended to him the 
full privilege of a representative at all future sessions of that 
body — an honor extended to none other, except to Brother Up- 
church, the founder of the Order. 

It is no disparagement to others to say that in the death of 
Brother Frizzell the Supreme Lodge and the Order at large has 
lost its most trusted and efficient adviser. His place will in- 
deed be hard to fill. 

To his sorrowing wife and family, the sympathy of an ap- 
preciative brotherhood goes out, and is alone lightened by the 
thought that he has but ceased from his good work here to 
continue it in an enarged field of more perfect conditions. 


In recognition of the great loss our Order kas sustained, it 
is hereby directed that the Altar Emblem of each Subordinate 
Lodge be draped in mourning for the space of sixty days. 

Fraternally yours in C, H. and P., 
Attest: Lewis L. Troy, 

M. W. Sackett, Supreme Master Workman. 

Supreme Recorder. 

The Supreme Lodge, in further recognition of ser- 
vices rendered and affection for Judge Frizzell, directed 
a granite monument to be erected to his memory. 


It may be a matter of inquiry, in the minds of some, 
why Brother Wilson, who did not become affiliated with 
the A. O. U. W. until May 26, 1877, at the organization 
of Detroit Lodge No. 6 of Michigan, and did not enter 
the higher councils of the Order in the Supreme Lodge 
until 1880, should be included among the pioneer officials 
of the early years. The answer is, that while Brother 
Wilson had, at the date when this history ends, made no 
marked impress upon the Order outside the Jurisdiction 
of Michigan, where his zeal and efficiency in the work 
had been recognized by placing him in the responsible 
position of Grand Recorder, he had already entered upon 
the study of the problem of mortuary statistics in their 
bearing upon the future solvency and permanency of the 
Order. His clear, logical reasoning powers, added to an 
unusual acumen, especially in mathematical lines, fitted 
him admirably for the research and study of this subject. 
Starting with carefully prepared statistics of his own 
Jurisdiction, and soon enlarging the scope of investiga- 
tion to other parts of the Order, and to other Societies 


and Insurance Companies, such study soon led him to the 
conclusion that radical changes must be made if the sys- 
tem of Fraternal Protection was to become permanent. 
We therefore find him among the first to urge upon the 
A. O. U. W. and through the medium of a publication 
of which he was editor, upon other Fraternal Beneficiary 
Societies, the necessity of preparing for future solvency 
by the adoption of rates that would provide an adequate 
reserve. In this field of work he may justly be classed a 

He was elected Grand Recorder of the Jurisdiction 
of Michigan at the first semi-annual session of that body, 
February, 1877, an d was retained in that position until 
December, 1896, a period of practically twenty years, 
when he resigned to enter the ministry. During this 
period he had been the main factor in building up the 
Jurisdiction of Michigan to a membership of near twenty- 
three thousand, Detroit Lodge alone having three thou- 
sand, one hundred thirty. Valuable as was his work for 
the Order in his own State, still more valuable was his 
labor in the broader field of influence exerted through the 
Supreme Lodge. 

As Supreme Master Workman, 1890-1891 — as a mem- 
ber of the Relief Board and Beneficial Commission in the 
readjustment of rates, as Chairman of the Finance Com- 
mittee for many years, and in other important positions, 
his recognized ability ever called him to service. In 1892 
in compliance with a resolution of the Supreme Lodge he 
compiled a digest of the laws and regulations of the. 
Order, containing historical and other data which made it 


among the most valuable publications the Order has ever 

Frizzell and Wilson stand out in marked prominence 
as leaders in the A. O. U. W. surpassed by no others, the 
former in the earlier days and extending beyond the limits 
of this history to the date of his death ; and the latter up 
to the present time, the tried and true counselor, still in 
demand on all important matters involving the good and 
welfare of the Order. 


All of those who were associated with Upchurch and 
Walker in the formation of Jefferson Lodge have passed 
away; none are left to tell the tale of that memorable 
event. Brother Walker was the last to meet the call of 
the grim reaper, Death. None other than Upchurch and 
Walker became important factors in the development of 
the Order. 

Of those who were delegates to the formation of the 
Supreme Lodge in 1873, none are living, so far as the 
knowledge of the writer extends, except himself. 

Brother Handy, after passing out of the office of 
Past Supreme Master Workman, in 1875, only attended 
one other meeting of the Supreme body, that of the 
succeeding year. For a number of years thereafter we 
find him active in the councils of the Grand Lodge of 
Kentucky, but finally to drop out of notice in their 
records. He did well his part and his services were of 
great value to the Order in the formative years in which 
he served. 

As to myself, possibly too much has already been said 


regarding the part I have taken in the affairs of the 
Order. Be this as it may, I am not conscious of having 
enlarged the estimate of services rendered, or sought to 
escape responsibility for errors committed. I served as 
best I knew, and. it is for others, not myself, to pass 
judgment upon my acts. 


It may possibly be of interest to those who peruse the 
foregoing pages of this history to further follow the in- 
fluence emenating from the Ancient Order of United 
Workmen, in the organization of other societies of like 

As already noted, nearly five years had elapsed after 
the organization of Jefferson Lodge No. i, A. O. U. W., 
before any other society of like character was instituted. 

We are aware that in the manual, "Statistics Fraternal 
Societies," published by the Monitor Company, three 
societies are listed as antedating the organization of the 
Ancient Order of United Workmen. Investigation, how- 
ever, has fully convinced the writer of this history that 
none of these societies at the date of their inception 
could be classed as Fraternal Beneficiary Societies, as the 
special significance of that term implies. The ingrafting 
of the distinctive feature of insurance or protection 
through the medium of lodge organization was of later 


Dr. J. M. Bunn, whose services as Deputy for the A. 
O. U. W. has been referred to and who participated in 


the meeting at the formation of the Supreme Lodge, 
soon after that meeting went to Philadelphia, Pa., and 
succeeded in interesting a number of persons in the for- 
mation of a new society to be known as the Artisans' 
Order of Mutual Protection. Desiring, if possible, to 
procure a corporate charter from the District of Colum- 
bia, on account of added prestige thought to be attained, a 
meeting was held in the City of Washington, D. C, May 
i, 1873, at which time the Most Excellent Assembly was 
organized and Dr. Bunn placed in the position of Most 
Excellent Master Artisan — the official head of the so- 
ciety. We have been unable to gather the information 
as to the number of persons present or who they were 
other than Dr. Bunn that participated in this meeting. 
This meeting, however, was afterwards recognized as the 
first meeting of the Most Excellent Assembly, although 
the first Subordinate Assembly was not organized until 
November 4, 1873, at Philadelphia. 

This Society, although never acquiring large propor- 
tions, has been a well managed one, with a steady growth 
each year. A late letter from its efficient Most Eminent 
Recorder says : "We are very proud of our little old- 
fashioned organization, we work on the old original 
plan, no organizers, no commissions, our members are 
our agents, and we think we favor a good man by admit- 
ting him." 

The first laws of this Society was entirely the work of 
Dr. Bunn and in large measure followed the laws of the 
A. O. U. W. with the exception of eliminating the fea- 
ture of Separate Beneficiary Jurisdictions. The tracing 
of the line of influence of the A. O. U. W. in the organi- 


zation of this second Society is therefore clear and dis- 

A parting word may properly be inserted here as to 
Dr. Bunn. He remained as head executive of the Arti- 
sans' Order of Mutual Protection until January, 1875, 
after which it appears his labors ceased in that connection. 

Many years later the writer met Dr. Bunn in Tacoma 
in the State of Washington. He was then an old man, 
with silvered locks and feeble step. Xo doubt ere this 
he has crossed the dark line of human destiny, but the 
results of the work he did in the initial period of Fra- 
ternal Beneficiary Societies will remain as a worthy tri- 
bute to his memory. 


The Knights of Honor was organized June 30, 1873, 
in the City of Louisville, Kentucky. For a time it was a 
moted question to whom the honor of being the founder 
of this Society should attach, two persons claiming that 
honor, one Darius Wilson, M. D., the other J. A. De- 
maree, both residents at that time of Louisville. To settle 
this controversy, a committee was appointed by the Su- 
preme Lodge of the Knights of Honor in 1877, and after 
thorough investigation reported its conclusions as 
follows : 

"Your committee therefore conclude that while Bro. J. A. 
Demaree was the person who called the meeting on the 30th 
of June, 1873, for the purpose of organizing a Society of the 
Knights of Honor, and as such is entitled to the honor of be- 
ing the originator of the movement which finally culminated in 
the organization of the Order — yet, 

"That by reason of the services of Bro. D. Wilson, who not 


only caused to be engrafted into the objects of the Order the 
W. & O. B. Fund as well as all of its present distinctive fea- 
tures and through whose efforts the Order was established, to 
Bro. D. Wilson is due the honor of being the Founder of the 

The writer, since beginning this history, requested 
Dr. Wilson to give certain facts in regard to the forma- 
tion of a number of Fraternal Beneficiary Societies, of 
which he was the founder, and the following is his reply 
relative to the Knights of Honor: 

In 1872, Dr. Darius Wilson, residing at Louisville, Ky., 
was elected State Council Secretary of the United American 
Mechanics for the State of Kentucky, and was so well and 
favorably known throughout the city as an enthusiastic and 
active member of the various Societies to which he belonged 
that his services were in great demand. 

In the early part of the year 1873, he was induced by 
Bro. S. R. Biesenthal, a member of a Lodge of the A. O. U. W. 
at Covington, Ky., to go with him to Covington to see Grand 
Master Workman Handy and learn something of the A. O. U. 
W. A short interview with Brother Handy convinced the 
latter that it was worth while to secure the services of the 
Doctor in behalf of the Order. The Doctor told Brother 
Handy that if he could be shown the work (that is, be ini- 
tiated) and it met with his approval he would guarantee to 
make a good Lodge in Louisville within a week. 

G. M. W. Handy then called a special meeting of the Grand 
Lodge of Kentucky for the purpose of initiating the Doctor. 
After initiation, the Doctor returned to Louisville and within 
two days organized the sixth Lodge in the State, known as 
Louisville Lodge No. 6 and composed of twenty-four of the 
most prominent citizens. The Doctor was its first Master 
Workman. While he was studying the ritual, constitution and 
general plan of the Order, the better to promote the same, the 
National Council of the Order of American Mechanics refused 


to charter a new Council of the Junior Order because it had 
selected for its name "Robert E. Lee." Because of this intol- 
erance, Dr. Wilson resigned his State Council Secretaryship 
and took a withdrawal card from the Order. The Junior 
Order, though controlled by the Senior Order, was composed 
of young men under twenty-one years of age and who were 
unable to obtain membership in any fraternities except some 
temperance orders. A Council of the Junior Order was at 
that time located in Louisville and J. A. Demaree was its pre- 
siding officer. The Council having surrendered its charter be- 
cause of the acts of the National Council, Demaree requested 
Dr. Wilson to make a new Order in which the boys could be- 
come members. On June 30, 1873, the boys came together and 
were by the Doctor made members of Golden Lodge No. 1, 
Knights of Honor. 

The Doctor, while putting in a good deal of his spare time 
in perfecting the details of the Order, had taken no steps 
towards organizing any more lodges and might never have 
done so had it not been for an unfortunate act of Brother 

The Doctor was holding a commission, the original of which 
is now in the office of the Supreme Recorder, A. O. U. W. 

Under this authority the Doctor had organized Lodge No. 
7 and had called a meeting for the purpose of organizing an- 
other Lodge on the 24th of October, 1873, but the United States 
mail of that morning brought to the Doctor from Brother 
Handy a revocation of his commission. Brother Handy visited 
Louisville Lodge, No. 6, A. O. U. W., that evening and ordered 
the Lodge to appoint a committee to investigate and see if 
charges should be preferred against the Doctor for making a 
new Order and copying portions of the Constitution of the A. 
O. U. W. The committee was duly appointed but during this 
same evening, Dr. Wilson, instead of organizing a Lodge of 
A. O. U. W., made Louisville Lodge, No. 2, Knights of Honor. 

The committee to look for wrong doing on the part of the 
Doctor was composed of Odd Fellows and Masons and as the 


Doctor belonged to both of these organizations, it did not take 
him long to show them that the Constitution of the A. 0. U. W. 
was largely copied from that of the Grand Lodge of Ohio, I. O. 
O. F., and that it in turn was copied from the Constitution of 
the Grand Lodge of Masons. The committee reported to the 
Lodge that there was no cause for the preferment of charges 
against the good Doctor, but nevertheless Brother Handy con- 
tinued to fight the Doctor until he finally discovered that he 
was fighting against great odds. 

Dr. Wilson paid no attention to Brother Handy's opposition 
but simply abandoned his medical practice and bent all his 
energy to the building up of his new Order. By personal 
solicitation he secured all the members for and organized 80 
of the first 81 Lodges of the Knights of Honor. 

At the beginning he tried to have the first Lodge adopt a 
scale of assessments graded according to age, but his asso- 
ciates desired a level assessment of $1 on each member and 
that none should be admitted above the age of 44. They held 
the opinion that none would join if required to pay more 
than $1 on an assessment. They did not object to the Doctor's 
final plan of a graded scale of assessments for those who joined 
between the ages of 44 and 55, the assessment at 54 being $4, 
and a goodly number paid $4 on each assessment for many 

Dr. Wilson attempted to improve on the plan of the A. O. 
U. W. by creating one W. & O. B. Fund for the entire Order 
that could not in any way be divided by State lines. But he 
never relaxed his interest in the success of the A. O. U. W. 
and some years later introduced the Order into New England. 

As to the controversy between Brother Doctor Wilson 
and Grand Master Workman Handy, this writing has 
little to do, but it is only just to the latter to give his 
reason for revoking the commission of Dr. Wilson as 
deputy of the A. O. U. W., which is contained in his 
report to the Grand Lodge of Kentucky. He says : "He 


(Dr. Wilson) instead of devoting his time and energies to 
our Order, was devoting them to this new Order of his. 
His action in this matter in starting a rival Order while 
holding a position of trust in the A. O. U. W. I deem 
a breach of trust and duty." 

We leave the merits of this controversy to the deter- 
mination of the reader, only remarking that, like as in 
the case of Dr. Bunn, whether the action was justifiable 
from an ethical standpoint or not, the results were for 
the good and upbuilding of Fraternal Protection in this 

The writer must disagree with Dr. Wilson in his 
assertion that the Constitution and Laws of the A. O. U. 
W. was largely copied from the two Societies mentioned 
by him. Were there no evidence other than the laws as 
heretofore set out, it would be sufficient to refute the 
assertion made by Dr. Wilson, as they show in construc- 
tion no evidence to maintain such position, besides this 
the writer of this record is personally knowing to the 
fact that such was not the case. 

The Knights of Honor grew and prospered, at one 
time reaching a membership of over one hundred and 
forty thousand and is still in existence, having paid over 
one hundred million dollars to the widows and orphans of 
its deceased brethren. 

The connecting link in the chain of influence exerted 
by the A. O. U. W. in the organization of this Society is 
clear and distinct. 

This large, influential and among the most prosper- 


cms Societies of the present day, dates its organization 
from June I, 1874. 

The name of Dr. Oronhyetkha, its founder, is a 
familiar household word in the great family of Fraternal 
Beneficiary Societies. 

At first the operations of this Society were restricted 
to the Provinces of Canada, but soon under the energetic 
administration of its founder it crossed the line and suc- 
cessfully pursued its onward march under the united flags 
of the Union Jack and Stars and Stripes. 

The writer is unable to trace any direct line of influ- 
ence exerted by either the A. O. U. W. or Knights of 
Honor in the inception and founding of the Independent 
Order of Foresters, but it is probably true that Dr. Oron- 
hyetkha had knowledge of the existence of these Societies 
at the time he founded his, for the reason that consid- 
erable publicity, especially in life insurance circles, was 
at that time being given to these so called "hat passing 
life insurance concerns." Be this as it may, Dr. Oron- 
hyetkha conceived the great possibilities for good in a 
Society of this character, and up to the date of his death 
devoted his time and eminent abilities to the perfection 
and extension of the Society of which he was the founder 
and builder. 

The Independent Order of Foresters was among the 
first of the Fraternal Beneficiary Societies to make pro- 
vision for a reserve fund to insure the future integrity 
and solvency of the Society, and today it has the proud 
distinction of having in such fund over twenty million 


dollars, a greater accumulation than any other like 

As a personal friend of long years' standing the writer 
cannot refrain from placing on record his high apprecia- 
tion of the sterling virtues of Dr. Oronhyetkha, his loyal 
support and helpful counsel during the many years the 
writer occupied the position of Secretary of the National 
Fraternal Congress. He was a true friend and a loyal 


On July 4, 1876, was organized at Knoxville, Ten- 
nessee, the Society above mentioned. We are not advised 
as to who was its founder, but this we know, that the 
inspiring force for long years past has been our esteemed 
and widely known Brother W. R. Cooper. 

The A. O. U. W., at the date of the organization of 
this Society, had assumed considerable prominence in 
the State of Tennessee, and no doubt its popularity and 
successful business was an inducement and guide in the 
formation of this new Order. 

While not classed among the large Societies of today, 
it is operating upon a sound basis, with adequate rates to 
insure its perpetuity. 

Was organized October, 1876. This was the first dis- 
tinctive Fraternal Beneficiary Society instituted in which 
the membership is restricted to persons of the Catholic 
faith. From the first, this Society, like all others that 
have since been organized under the auspices of this faith, 
has successfully prosecuted its work of Co-operative char- 


ity and benevolence. It may be worthy of observation that 
the Catholic Church is the only church organization that 
has openly given its sanction and helpful support to Fra- 
ternal Beneficiary Societies. Even today the old prejudice 
against secret societies inherent in the contracted minds 
of some ministers, finds vent in a tirade of condemna- 
tion against all secret societies, including Fraternal Bene- 
ficiary Organizations, that have done such noble and com- 
mendable work in the uplift and betterment of humanity. 
We are pleased, however, to note that today this preju- 
dice is fast waning and that often now church doors are 
opened to the admission of our Fraternities, their past 
work extolled, and prayers offered for the successful con- 
tinuance of their beneficent work. 

The Catholic Mutual Benefit Association, under the 
wise leadership of its President, John J. Hynes, and 
Joseph Cameron, its Supreme Secretary, early took steps 
to place their organization on the firm footing of adequate 
rates, and now rejoice in an accumulated reserve of 
nearly two and one-half millions of dollars. 

As to what influence, if any, was exerted through the 
medium of the A. O. U. W. in the institution of this So- 
ciety we cannot say other than to note that at the time 
it was organized several lodges of the A. O. U. W. were 
in existence in Buffalo and its vicinity. 


During the year 1877 seven new Fraternal Benefi- 
ciary Societies were organized. It is beyond the intended 
limit of this short history to follow from this time for- 
ward the increasing number of new organizations that 


entered the field of co-operative effort. To trace this out 
must be the work of someone better qualified than the 
present writer ; only one other, the Royal Arcanum, with 
the institution of which the writer is familiar, will be 

The Royal Arcanum was instituted by its founder, Dr. 
Darius Wilson, at Boston, Massachusetts, June 23, 1877. 

We are again privileged to quote from the recent state- 
ment of Dr. Wilson as to his part in the founding of this 
Society : 

"He tried for three successive years to induce the Supreme 
Lodge, Knights of Honor, to adopt a graded scale of assess- 
ments, but the savants of that august body said it was an 
impossibility to do that sort of thing. Wilson finally said, "I 
will make another Order in which that identical plan shall be 
a prominent feature." Then he made the Royal Arcanum and 
to make sure that no one should interfere with his plans, he 
alone made the name, the plan, the Constitution, the Ritual, 
the permanent pass-words as they are used at the present time, 
and the emblem and jewels as still in use. He also prepared 
the blank forms of applications for membership, etc. Then 
on June 23, 1877, he invited Charles K. Darling, W. O. Robson, 
F. M. Crawford, J. M. Swain, J. A. Cummings, J. H. Wright, 
William Brawley, G. W. Blish and William Goodhue to meet 
him at the Doctor's reception parlors at 1066 Washington St., 
Boston, Mass., for the purpose of being initiated into the Order 
and each to take an office in the Supreme Council. 

It is safe to say that none of those invited had any faith in 
the final success of the Order and this fact is further empha- 
sized by the absolute refusal of J. A. Cummings to take the 
office of Supreme Regent, as requested by the Doctor, and 
further by the non-appearance of Mr. Goodhue, who never be- 
came a member of the Order. Personal friendship for Dr. 


Wilson was undoubtedly the only reason for the presence of 
any of those who were initiated." 

As above indicated, the Supreme Council was orga- 
nized before the institution of any Subordinate Councils, 
and Dr. Wilson was elected its first Supreme Regent and 
W. O. Robson Supreme Secretary. 

The Knights of Honor had already been introduced in 
Massachusetts and other New England States, Brother J. 
A. Cummings being at the time of joining in the founding 
of the Royal Arcanum the Grand Vice-Dictator of the 
Grand Lodge, Knights of Honor of Massachusetts. 

The Royal Arcanum provided in its first constitution 
and laws for the collection of a graded rate of assess- 
ment from its membership. These assessments were, 
however, only to be levied and collected to meet the death 
claims as they occurred. Each certificate was for the 
amount of Three Thousand Dollars. 

The progress of the Society from the first was rapid 
and its membership drawn from the best class of citizens , 
in the cities and towns where its councils were located. 

From the annual report made by Supreme Secretary 
Robson, April 23, 1878, we gather information of the 
rapid and widespread extension of the Society during the 
first year of its existence: Twenty-seven hundred and 
eighty-one members had been admitted ; eighty-two Coun- 
cils had been established, located in the following States : 
Massachusetts, Ohio, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Michi- 
gan, Maine, Virginia, New York, Georgia, Wisconsin, 
Ontario, Canada, and Pennsylvania. Besides this, peti- 
tions were in circulation for the organization of Councils 
in California, Kansas, New Hampshire and Illinois. This 


extended dissemination of knowledge of the Society in 
the short space of ten months speaks volumes for the zeal 
and enthusiasm of its executive officers and certifies to 
the ready acceptance of people to join its ranks. 
Of the propagating work Brother Robson says: 

"The formation of Councils in different localities, and 
notices thereof in the local papers, with a brief statement of 
the objects of the Order, caused inquiries to be sent from all 
quarters, and a lively correspondence continued during the 
autumn. So strong has become the public distrust of the old 
methods of life insurance, and so well grounded the confidence 
in the system of securing death benefits through the machin- 
ery of secret, fraternal association, that the bare announce- 
ment that such an Order as ours was in existence, excited 
inquiry, and as the record shows, often lead to active parti- 
cipation. * * * 

* * * "The outlook for a large and rapid increase during 
the next year is indeed favorable. 

"The public mind has long been convinced of the failure 
of the life insurance system, and of the advantages of the 
secret beneficiary plan. The Royal Arcanum is the only Order 
having' a graded scale of assessment based upon mortality 
rates, and we believe it is destined to come still more into 
public favor as its objects and details of work become known." 

The Royal Arcanum is still at the present day among 
the large and prosperous co-operative Fraternities. For 
more than thirty-seven years it has maintained its high 
standing of intelligent progressive work. Like others of 
its sister Societies, it has had to pass through the experi- 
ence of readjusting its rates to an adequate basis, but this 
it has done, retaining the confidence of its membership 
and suffering but slight diminution in its ranks. 

The record of its benefactions total near One Hundred 


and Seventy-five Million Dollars, and in addition it has 
present resources to guarantee future liabilities of nearly 
Six Millions in its Emergency Fund. 

For over thirty years, Supreme Secretary Robson 
stood at the helm and guided the destiny of the Royal 
Arcanum, and his efficient services in that office only 
closed when death claimed him as her own. During these 
long years, his name was familiar as a leader in the co- 
operative fraternal world. The accurate statistics which 
he kept and compiled of the Royal Arcanum formed, in 
conjunction with these of the A. O. U. W., in large 
measure the basis of experience from which the National 
Fraternal Congress Table of Mortality was deduced. 

Like Rev. Mr. Wilson of the A. O. U. W., not enter- 
ing the field of co-operative protection in its earliest years, 
yet the efficient services rendered gives him a justifiable 
place among the Pioneers. 

Here, as in the other cases mentioned, is clearly to be 
traced the influence of the A. O. U. W. in the organiza- 
tion of this Society. 

From 1877 to the present time in multiplied numbers 
have new Societies of like character been formed, all 
following closely the lines marked out by the early fathers 
of the system, until today a great concourse of near eight 
million brothers and sisters are joined in this noble hu- 
manitarian work that challenges the admiration of the 

Some few Societies have failed, but it is remarkable 
that in no instance so far as the knowledge of the writer 
extends, has there attached a charge of graft or scandal 
to mar the fair fame of Fraternal Protection. 



In no department of business experience in great en- 
terprises for the past fifty years can a parallel be found 
of integrity of purpose and honest administration. Mul- 
tiplied millions through the ministration of these Societies 
have come to the homes bereft of their main support and 
the blessings of immeasurable numbers of widows and 
orphans bless the day that Fraternal Protection placed 
around their homes its care and helpful aid. 


No one within the limits of fraternal work in America 
stands the peer of Dr. Wilson as an organizer of new 
Societies. He was the founder of the Knights of Honor, 
Royal Arcanum, American Legion of Honor and the 
Royal Society of Good Fellows. In each of these he 
served in commanding executive positions, especially as 
Supreme or Supervising Medical Examiner. 

Of pleasing personality, wide acquaintance, a zealous 
enthusiast that knew no defeat in the object to be attained, 
and possessed of remarkable persuasive powers, he was 
an ideal and successful organizer. At the advanced age 
of seventy-six the Doctor is still in active service in many 
directions. His has indeed been a long and successful 
career and the good that has resulted from his efforts in. 
the fraternal co-operative field will stand as a lasting 
monument to his memory when he shall have passed to 
his reward. 

We copy the following from an article published in 
the Royal Arcanum Fraternal Quarterly October, 1895 : 

Dr. Wilson was born in the town of Athol, now Thurman, 
New York, June 26, 1838, and at an early age was by force 


of circumstances thrown upon his own resources, and started 
out to make his way in the world by his own exertions. He 
attended medical lectures in the University of New York, 
1855, 1856, and 1857, and graduated as Doctor of Medicine from 
the Philadelphia University in 1865. In 1880 he founded the 
College of Physicians and Surgeons of Boston. He attended 
two full courses of lectures at this college and received a 
diploma from it in 1882, which diploma was endorsed by 
Bellevue Hospital Medical College of New York in 1883, said, 
endorsement being under the law of the State equivalent to a 
•diploma from that college. He is a member of the New York 
County Medical Society. 

Dr. Wilson and his work for Fraternal Societies are so 
well known that it does not appear necessary to give a detailed 
list of the Societies with which he is connected; suffice it to 
say he has been a member of some forty organizations, has 
stood at the head of several of them, and has occupied posi- 
tions of responsibility and trust in all. Many men occupying 
high office in Fraternal Societies today are indebted to Dr. 
Wilson for the positions they hold. 

As an organizer and promoter he has never had a peer 
among those engaged in Fraternal Society work, and where 
others have retired from the field as failures he has scored a 
brilliant success. 

Personally he is a genial, quiet mannered gentleman, in- 
clined to be optimistic in his views, and a firm believer in the 
perpetuity of Fraternal Societies. 



In a book under the title ''Assessment Life Insurance" 
published by the Spectator Company in 1896 in which the 
Fraternal Beneficiary Societies are referred to in a "Brief 
Historical Review," and in which the assertion is made, 
in speaking of the Ancient Order of United Workman, 
that "The form and plans of the Society were modeled 
after those of the two Affiliated Friendly Societies of 
Great Britain, the Foresters and Manchester Unity of 
Odd Fellows. From these the system of collecting funds 
to meet death claim obligations was also adopted." 

We have no particular fault to find with the author, 
Mr. Miles M. Dawson, the eminent Actuary, in the gen- 
eral review made except as to the above quoted assertions 
which are entirely misleading and incorrect. From per- 
sonal official connection with the management of the A. 
O. U. W. in the early years of its history and intimate 
relationship with the founders of the Order, the writer 
of this history can assert with positiveness that neither 
himself or they had any knowledge at that time of the 
existance of the two British Societies above mentioned. 
If in some ways the lines of operation adopted followed 
those of the foreign societies it was unknown to them, 
and we think we could say with truthfulness that to the 
date of the limit to which this history extends, 1880, little 
if any knowledge, was had by any one in official position 
in the Fraternal Beneficiary Societies then in existence 
as to the laws or history of the British Societies — this 
information was disseminated afa later period. 


Numerous other exaggerated statements have from 
time to time appeared in public print relative to the early 
days of the A. O. U. W. and the meed of credit that 
should be rendered to the founder and his associates and 
one of the objects of this history is to preclude misstate- 
ments in the future. During the earlier years covered 
by this history but little publicity was given these new 
societies, what little was known of them was localized 
within the limits of the subordinate lodges and councils, 
but later when it was noted with what little persuasion 
and even eagerness people joined their ranks, they began 
to attract public attention. The old line Insurance Com- 
panies apprehensive of inroads to their business, sought 
through their agents to retard the growth of the Fraternal 
Societies by aspersion and ridicule, calling them "Hat 
passing Insurance Companies, etc," unworthy of the no- 
tice or adherence of sensible people. These attacks, how- 
ever placed no bar to the progress of the societies. In 
fact it was an advantage to them in that it turned public 
attention to the work they were doing and they suffered 
no detriment by comparison with the old line Companies 
which at that time was far from enjoying public favor 
and endorsement. The Companies in their earlier days 
failed to see the great benefit to their business they were 
to reap through the education of the people by the 
Societies to the need of insurance protection. Afterwards 
they appreciated this fact and be it said to their credit, 
acknowledged the Fraternal Beneficiary Societies as 
friends in disguise that had rendered them untold benefit 
in the extension and prosperity of their business. 

The criticism has often been made, especially during 


the process of readjustment of rates, that ignorance of 
necessary requirements to insure perpetuity, on the part 
of those responsible for Fraternal Beneficiary Societies, 
was inexcusable, "that they ought to have known better. " 
To the mind of the writer, the existence of these societies 
today is owing to this ignorance, for had the endeavor 
been made to start the movement on lines such as are 
now recognized as necessary to secure future permanence 
and solvency, no effort that could possibly have been put 
forth could have resulted in the organization of such 

The time when the A. O. U. W. came into existence 
was most opportune. The period from 1870 to 1879 was 
one of unparalleled disaster to old line Life Insurance 
Companies and millions upon millions of the people's 
money, as well as the protection thought to have been 
secured, was lost in the multitudes of failures of these 

So well has the eminent historian of Life Insurance, 
Hon. William A. Fricke, set forth the conditions prevail- 
ing at that time that we give the following extracts from 
his history published in 1898: 


The nine years immediately following the First Convention 
must be accounted the most trying period in the history of 
American Life Insurance. The number of companies which 
ceased doing business in New York was forty-six. Only four 
reinsured in companies that remained solvent; only ten others 
paid their liabilities in full. Receivers' reports are incom- 
plete, but a careful examination of such as are accessible show 
the total loss to policy-holders by failures among American 



Life companies to be about thirty-five million dollars, nearly 
all of which occurred during this period. 


Another result of these same causes was that multitudes 
of men who felt the need of life insurance protection, sought a 
substitute for it in co-operative and fraternal societies. I am 
aware that there is well-founded objection to calling the opera- 
Lions of these societies insurance, and it will be stoutly main- 
tained by some that there is but one system of real life insur- 
ance; nevertheless there may be many systems of post-mortem 
relief, and it is hardly worth while to quarrel about the name 
so long as we apprehend the fact. There is no question but 
that many co-operative and fraternal societies operating be- 
tween 1870 and 1880, in spite of their imperfect system and be- 
cause of honest management, furnished better protection to 
their patrons than the level-premium companies whose demise 
we have been considering — although the latter were organized 
upon plans that were unassailable, ran their course of wick- 
edness under the aegis of the law, and died in the odor (a 
very bad odor, to be sure) of regularity. While the business of 
the level-premium companies that failed was but a small per- 
centage of the whole, and there were always sound and well- 
managed companies in the field, yet the losses were neverthe- 
less great and wide-spread, and it was little comfort to one who 
had lost the accumulations of years to be told that he should 
have insured in a better company. A system that furnished 
(or even promised) present protection at low cost, and did 
not profess to accumulate money for future needs, appealed 
very strongly to men who did not understand theories of in- 
surance, but who were angry and sore at heart over losses 
under a system that professed to be perfect. 

Mr. Fricke further notes the fact that in 1879 — 80 
there was a general revival of business in the old line Life 
Companies thus bearing out the assertion we have made 


of the influence of Fraternal Societies in educating the 
general public to the need of home protection. 

It has been a matter of comment as to why the level 
assessment rate of one dollar was so long adhered to in 
the A. O. U. \Y. Some reference has heretofore been 
made to the intense brotherly feeling that pervaded the 
Order in the earlier years of existence. This helpful in- 
fluence was so woven into the fabric of the Society that 
while it was recognized that advancing age brought added 
cost, so far as the protection feature was concerned, yet 
so long as this cost brought no burdensome demands it 
was cheerfully paid — the fact of like benefits and like 
contributions appealed strongly to the fraternal co-op- 
erative spirit so markedly prevalent in those years. Later 
on when by reason of the Separate Beneficiary Juris- 
diction feature of the Order, the growing age develop- 
ment became sooner apparent than it would had this pro- 
vision not been in force, the necessity of equalizing the 
contribution to the hazzard of risk became a matter to be 
dealt with. The loyalty, however, to this level dollar con- 
tribution was so firmly imbedded in the spirit of the mem- 
bership that it remained a number of years before any 
change took place. It may be further said, as an added 
reason for the long delay in discarding the level dollar 
rate, that to those who had closely watched developments 
and had gathered some knowledge of necessary require- 
ments to render societies of this nature permanent and 
secure for all time, it was apparent that to adopt a graded 
rate inadequate to accumulate a reserve sufficient to meet 
the mortality cost of increasing age, that such graded 
rates gave no better security for the future than did the 


level dollar rate. True that the graded rate did in a meas- 
ure established greater equity between the members, yet 
as the contributions only reached the point of meeting 
current cost, leaving no residue, the one was no better 
than the other as a solution for the future. 

Incidently it may be remarked that here again the 
A. O. U. W. did pioneer work in the outlook it furnished 
to other Societies wherein the membership statistics were 
gathered as a whole and the growing age tendency there- 
by more or less concealed. 

The tracing of these lines of education and develop- 
ment to a standard of solvency for the future is, however, 
beyond the perview of this history and is left to the his- 
torian who shall take up the work from where this 
leaves off. 

The tendency in writing this history has been to con- 
stantly overstep the limit to which it was to extend and 
to note the onward progress and development that has 
taken place until today when but few societies are left 
but can say "we are on a scientific basis with adequate 
provisions for the future." 

No history of Fraternal Beneficiary Societies would 
be complete no matter what period of time it covered, 
without rendering a tribute of appreciation to the noble 
women who have labored in this field of effort. Up to 
the time of the closing of this history, no exclusive ladies' 
society had been formed other than the Degree of Honor, 
which had not as yet adopted a beneficiary feature, but 
a number of societies had made provision for the admis- 
sion of women to their ranks. Soon, however, was to 
follow the society of the Ladies of Maccabees ; Ladies 


Catholic Benevolent Association, Women's Catholic Or- 
der of Foresters ; The Superior Lodge of Degree of Hon- 
or with beneficiary feature attached; Royal Neighbors of 
America and other exclusive ladies' societies. Of these 
none have failed in their mission and today they rank 
the peer of societies composed entirely of men. Be it 
said to the detriment of the exclusive men societies that 
much more fully and completely have the ladies' societies 
inculcated the true spirit of fraternity in social, ethical 
and moral uplift and co-operative helpfulness than have 
the men. Their influence in societies composed of both 
sexes has in like manner, been a helpful factor of pro- 
gress. All honor then to the noble women whose aid has 
been of such untold good in the beneficent work of Home 

The writer cannot withstand the temptation to again 
take a step forward and enter the restricted limits fixed 
for the close of this history, to place on record his ap- 
preciation of the great and effective work done by the 
National Fraternal Congress and the Associated Fraterni- 
ties of America, now so happily joined in a united body, 
in the dissemination of education leading up to the adop- 
tion by the Fraternal Beneficiary Societies of rates based 
on scientific principles and giving assurance of future 
permanence and solvency. These bodies have been the 
central school from which has radiated the best thought 
and most careful investigation as to what was needed to 
preserve the integrity and render enduring the Fraternal 
Co-operative System of Home Protection. 

Twenty-eight years ago through the inceptive influ- 
ence of the Supreme Lodge Ancient Order of United 


Workmen, the National Fraternal Congress was called 
into being. At the first meeting held in the Capital City 
of our nation, September, 1886, sixteen societies were 
represented with an estimated membership of a little over 
one-half million, today eighty-three societies are associa- 
ted in the National Fraternal Congress of America, 
representing a combined membership of over Five and 
one-half Millions. During the same period these societies 
have paid to the families of their deceased members near- 
ly Two Billion Dollars. 

In an extended flight of imagination, who can meas- 
ure the beneficial results eminating from this great Sys- 
tem of Organized Protection of the Homes, extending 
throughout this broad land of ours. The rapid growth 
and beneficent influence exerted by these societies has 
been the wonder and crowning glory of the last remark- 
able century. No other associated endeavor of human 
uplift and helpfulness compares with its achievements. 
To be a part of this great System of Organized Pro- 
tection, or to be entrusted with the important duties im- 
posed by official position should be an honor, secondary 
to none other within the gift of human enterprise or en- 

The writer counts the twelve years he served as Sec- 
retary-Treasurer of the National Fraternal Congress as 
the most pleasant and memorable period of his long official 
connection with the work of Fraternal Co-operative Pro- 
tection. These years were the earlier ones in the history 
of the Congress and the membership then was largely 
composed of those who were the founders of the different 
societies represented. Many of these have passed beyond 


the vale. With what reverence memory recalls their zeal 
and devotion to the cause they loved so well The names 
of Upchurch, Walker, Oronhyatekha, Boynton, Robson, 
Root, Shields, Shepherd, Stevens, Warner, Acker and 
other leaders are familiar household words in Fraternal 
Co-operative circles. In the enrollment on the pages of 
history their names will appear among those whom the 
world honors as the great benefactors of the Nineteenth 
Century. The heritage they have left should be a sacred 
trust to be guarded with equal zeal, honesty of pur- 
pose and unselfish devotion as that displayed by these 
noble men. That wise and judicious care of this great 
, legacy has been exercised by those who have followed, 
is attested by the increased numbers, extended influence 
and added financial stability of the Fraternal Beneficiary 
societies of to-day. 

In closing this history, what shall we say of the fu- 
ture ? Is the Fraternal Co-operative System to be endur- 
ing, or will it continue to flourish for a time, reach its 
zenith and then gradually retrograde and become ex- 
tinct, remaining only a memory recorded on the page of 
history ? No, it will not fail as long as wise, earnest and 
unselfish men and women continue to lead and homes 
exist to be protected and widows and orphans need to be 
cared for. 


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